Tribute to Giaochino Rossini

Italian Composer Gioachino Antonio Rossini sadly passed away on 13th November at the age of 76 from pneumonia at his country house at Passy on Friday, 13 November 1868. He was buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France. In 1887, his remains were moved to the Basilica di Santa Croce di Firenze, in Florence, at the request of the Italian government.

Born 29 February 1792 into a family of musicians in Pesaro, a town on the Adriatic coast of Italy, he began his musical training early, and by the age of six he was playing the triangle in his father’s musical group, His father also played the horn in the orchestras of the theatres at which his wife sang and Rossini had three years of instruction in the playing of the harpsichord from Giuseppe Prinetti. He was eventually taken from Prinetti and apprenticed to a blacksmith. In Angelo Tesei, he found a congenial music master, and learned to sight-read, play accompaniments on the piano and sing well enough to take solo parts in the church when he was ten years of age. He was also a capable horn player and Around this time, he composed individual numbers to a libretto by Vincenza Mombelli called Demetrio e Polibio, which was handed to the boy in pieces.

Though it was Rossini’s first opera, written when he was thirteen or fourteen, the work was not staged until the composer was twenty years old, premiering as his sixth official opera.In 1806 Rossini became a cello student and learned to play the cello with ease. his first opera, La cambiale di matrimonio (The Marriage Contract), was produced at Venice when he was a youth of 18 years. But two years before this he had already received the prize at the Conservatorio of Bologna for his cantata Il pianto d’Armonia sulla morte d’Orfeo. Between 1810 and 1813 at Bologna, Rome, Venice and Milan, Rossini produced operas of varying success, most notably La pietra del paragone and Il signor Bruschino, with its brilliant and unique overture. In 1813, Tancredi and L’italiana in Algeri were even bigger successes, and catapulted the 20-year-old composer to international fame.

Rossini’s most famous opera, ,The Barber of Seville, was produced on 20 February 1816, scholars generally agree that it was written in two or three weeks, although Rossini himself claimed to have written the opera in only twelve days.Perhaps one of the most well known parts of The Barber of Seville is  Figaro’s Aria. Between 1815 and 1823 Rossini produced 20 operas. Of these Othello formed the climax to his reform of serious opera, and offers a suggestive contrast with the treatment of the same subject at a similar point of artistic development by the composer Giuseppe Verdi. In 1823, he came to England, being much fêted on his way through Paris. and was given a generous welcome in England, The next year he became musical director of the Théâtre des Italiens in Paris, between 1824 and 1829, Rossini created the comic opera Le Comte Ory and  Guillaume Tell (William Tell). which is a political epic adapted from Schiller’s play about the 13th-century Swiss patriot who rallied his country against the Austrians.

By the age of thirty-eight he had composed thirty-eight operas as well as sacred music, chamber music, songs, and some instrumental and piano pieces. He also became famous for the inspired, song-like melodies which are evident throughout his scores, which mark a transitional stage in the history of opera, the overture serving as a model for romantic overtures throughout the 19th century.Rossini sadly passed away on 13th November at the age of 76 from pneumonia at his country house at Passy on Friday, 13 November 1868. But during his lifetime he recieve many Honors & tributes, He was a foreign associate of the institute, grand officer of the Legion of Honour and recipient of innumerable orders. In 1900 Giuseppe Cassioli created a monument to Rossini in the Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence. Rossini remains one of the most popular opera composers in history and The William Tell overture also remains one of the most famous and frequently recorded works in the classical repertoire In 1989 the conductor Helmuth Rilling also recorded a Requiem for Rossini.

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