Rossini’s Semiramide Overture

“Fun” may be the best way to describe a Rossini opera overture. Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) was a master of long, expectation-building crescendos, sparkling, virtuosic woodwind solos and musical jokes, which included sudden, loud, out of place chords. These operas would have been considered popular entertainment-drama mixed with sports, in the form of the vocal acrobatics of the singers. Recently, I ran across this exciting 1990 Metropolitan Opera performance of Rossini’s Semiramide Overture. As you …

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