Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hi Ho Rossini

One of my favorite forms of classical music is the overture. An overture is an instrumental composition that is an introduction usually to an opera or oratorio. These orchestral compositions are many times performed at concerts independently of the opera.  They often, if not most times, can stand on their own.
One of the greatest composers of overtures is the Italian Gioacchino Rossini who wrote 39 operas.  Even if you don't think you know anything about classical music, when you hear one of Rossini's favorite overtures, you will say to yourself...wait, I've heard that before, I know that music.
Maybe the most famous of Rossini's overtures is his William Tell.     Many of you will immediately say to yourself, I know... The Lone Ranger.  Even before that well known theme you will hear some beautiful, serene music that you have also heard before but probably can't place where you have heard it.  Think cartoons.  Well, think cartoons if you are my age and lived thru Looney Tunes.
So, especially those that think they know nothing of classical music, listen to this and you will be surprised.   Oh yes, for the part many of you will wait for, it comes at the 8:17 mark: one of the most exciting climaxes of any piece of music you have heard.  If that doesn't get your juices flowing, then you aren't alive.

Gioacchino Rossini's William Tell Overture


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