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Rossini: Overtures / Riccardo Muti, Philharmonia Orch


Release Date: 12/01/2009 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 47118   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

"Never try to do anything but opera buffa", Beethoven advised Rossini. William Tell, composed two year's after Beethoven's death, grandly and movingly refutes the advice, but, by and large, it is for his wit and his power to scintillate that Rossini is best loved. Tell apart, the serious overtures are poor stuff when they take themselves seriously; engaging (Semiramide or The Barber, appropriated from an historical dramma of the preceding year) when they don motley, smile, and fizz. Why the Philharmonia Orchestra, one wonders, when Scimone's buoyant complete recording of The Italian Girl in Algiers was made, very aptly, with I Solisti Veneti, a chamber ensemble ideally schooled to Rossini's manner?

The Philharmonia
Read more plays better for Muti who is particularly brilliant in the strettos. Like many Italian conductors of the post-war generation, he is a follower of Toscanini, and late Toscanini at that; a dangerous precedent, for the old man's ability to deploy manic tempi as the basis for something living and alert is an ability few, if any, of his followers have inherited. Muti's Silken ladder is very brilliant, a stunning reappropriation of the Toscanini style, with silken strings and brilliant, chattering woodwinds. But why so much haste, one asks, placing Sir Thomas Beecham's pre-war recording on the turntable (World Records mono SH313, 8/79)? Muti, like Toscanini, steadies himself for The Barber, but The silken ladder does have a terrifying swiftness and I cannot help thinking that in William Tell the famous equestrian finale is all. I would have been happier with this if Muti had phrased the cellos' opening colloquy less broadly and allowed the cor anglais's pastoral plaint to sing out more clearly. As it is, we have no option but to sit and wait for the grandstand finish. The Overture to the Journey to Rheims is handsomely treated, and the Overture to The siege of Corinth, avoiding all clamour, has flair and energy.

-- Gramophone [3/1981, reviewing the original LP release]
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Works on This Recording

1.
L'assedio di Corinto: Overture by Gioachino Rossini
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1826; Italy 
2.
Il barbiere di Siviglia: Overture by Gioachino Rossini
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Italy 
3.
La scala di seta: Overture by Gioachino Rossini
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1812; Italy 
4.
Semiramide: Overture by Gioachino Rossini
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Italy 
5.
Il viaggio a Reims: Overture by Gioachino Rossini
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1825; Italy 
6.
Guillaume Tell: Overture by Gioachino Rossini
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829; Italy 

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