Notes and Editorial Reviews
Exhausted by his fame as a composer of operas, Rossini decided to retire at 37 and travel. After settling in Paris it wasn't until 1853, at the age of sixty-one, that he felt comfortable enough to return to music--but not to the stage. It was from this time until the end of his life that Rossini devoted his energies to writing instrumental music--for small ensembles as well as a large body of miniatures for solo piano, most of which were written for his festive supper parties.
In this first volume devoted to Rossini's complete piano works, Paolo Giacometti plays a remarkably vibrant and modern-sounding Pleyel piano from 1858. As for the music, all these pieces betray the composer's love of opera. Though none of them can be considered
virtuoso works, they are nonetheless wonderful, character-driven miniatures that reveal a joyous temperament uninfluenced by the pressure to produce. Humor is at the forefront in many of these pieces, most notably "Prelude convulsif" with its reference to Bach and "Ouf! les petits pois" ("Oh no! Peas again") which ends with a reference to the opening notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Read less
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