cover of book

Sinfonie giovanili
by Gioachino Rossini
edited by Paolo Fabbri
University of Chicago Press, 1999
Cloth: 978-0-226-72857-5

The four overtures in this volume display Rossini's extraordinary talent at the threshold of his career. Composed before his eighteenth birthday, they show him developing orchestral skills that served him throughout his life. The Sinfonia del Conventello and the Sinfonia obbligata a contrabbasso were written for performance at "Il Conventello," the estate of his patron Agostino Triossi, and feature the cello and double bass. The Sinfonia in D and the Sinfonia in E-flat were composed at the Liceo Filarmonico in Bologna, where Rossini was a student from 1806 to 1809. Their public performances showed them to be much more than classroom exercises, and Rossini later reworked the E-flat overture for his opera La cambiale di matrimonio.

None of these overtures survives in Rossini's hand. (In his late years, Rossini confided that he had left a number of "little things" with Triossi, who had probably used them "to wrap salami.") The critical edition has recovered the first two from recently identified manuscript copies, the others from incomplete sets of parts.

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