Rossini's Extensive Piano Music

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Lance
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Rossini's Extensive Piano Music

Post by Lance » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:57 pm

The German firm of Dabringhaus und Grimm has issued eight CDs of Gioacchino Rossini's [1792-1868] piano music performed by Stefan Irmer who performs all the music on a 1901 Steinway concert grand piano. They are all entitled "Péchés de Viellesse," and I'm slowly traversing the discs. The most recent one to hear is Volume 5 [618-1353], mostly preludes and a Bolero Tartare. Like Chopin's etudes among other composers' works of that caliber, if you could play those - and Rossini's - you could probably play anything on the piano. They are virtuosic pieces and one is immediately aware of the Italiante style with twinges of hallmarks of Rossini's writing. They are melodic, and memorable. This pianistic side of Rossini other than his "Sins of Old Age" piano parts are not well known. As usual D&B offers excellent sound and natural acoustics. Stefan Irmler is an outstanding pianist and the old 1901 Steinway gives us an indication of Steinway quality at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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John F
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Re: Rossini's Extensive Piano Music

Post by John F » Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:30 am

Eight CDs?! Gosh! Maybe Rossini wasn't so lazy as all that.
John Francis

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Re: Rossini's Extensive Piano Music

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:23 am

Sorry, Lance, but they are horridly mediocre. I can't even conceive why Rossini composed them. Dear old Mrs. Troidle would never have assigned me such a piece. Beethoven got it right when he said that Rossini should never be allowed to compose anything but comic opera.


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: Rossini's Extensive Piano Music

Post by lennygoran » Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:29 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:23 am
Beethoven got it right when he said that Rossini should never be allowed to compose anything but comic opera.
What, no William Tell, no Semiramide, surely you jest! Regards, Len :roll:

jbuck919
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Re: Rossini's Extensive Piano Music

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:51 am

lennygoran wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:29 am
jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:23 am
Beethoven got it right when he said that Rossini should never be allowed to compose anything but comic opera.
What, no William Tell, no Semiramide, surely you jest! Regards, Len :roll:
They are serious operas of some substance I admit, but my paraphrase of Beethoven's comment is correct.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

lennygoran
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Re: Rossini's Extensive Piano Music

Post by lennygoran » Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:01 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:51 am
They are serious operas of some substance I admit, but my paraphrase of Beethoven's comment is correct.
I have to admit I wasn't at all familiar with his piano music-thanks for posting that you tube link. I also really like his Petite messe solennelle and Stabat mater. Regards, Len

jbuck919
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Re: Rossini's Extensive Piano Music

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:40 am

lennygoran wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:01 am
jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:51 am
They are serious operas of some substance I admit, but my paraphrase of Beethoven's comment is correct.
I have to admit I wasn't at all familiar with his piano music-thanks for posting that you tube link. I also really like his Petite messe solennelle and Stabat mater. Regards, Len
Oh for the love of the living heaven don't mention the Stabat Mater. The hideous movement Inflammatus was the closing choice of Carl Weinrich before he retired when I was a sophomore at university. Everyone in the chapel choir realized what a bad decision he had made.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: Rossini's Extensive Piano Music

Post by John F » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:06 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:51 am
lennygoran wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:29 am
jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:23 am
Beethoven got it right when he said that Rossini should never be allowed to compose anything but comic opera.
What, no William Tell, no Semiramide, surely you jest! Regards, Len :roll:
They are serious operas of some substance I admit, but my paraphrase of Beethoven's comment is correct.
I'm afraid I believe Beethoven was speaking not from dispassionate judgment but a degree of envy. Rossini's popularity, even in Vienna, outshone Beethoven's and indeed all other composers, and the serious operas were part of the popularity. Meanwhile, Beethoven was struggling to compose a serious opera, in effect composing the same one twice. Rossini's apparently effortless productivity, and his success, would be enough to put any other composer in a bad humor.
John Francis

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Re: Rossini's Extensive Piano Music

Post by lennygoran » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:20 am

John F wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:06 am
Rossini's apparently effortless productivity, and his success, would be enough to put any other composer in a bad humor.
That's right! Regards, Len [out the door] :lol:

jbuck919
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Re: Rossini's Extensive Piano Music

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:38 am

John F wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:06 am
jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:51 am
lennygoran wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:29 am
jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:23 am
Beethoven got it right when he said that Rossini should never be allowed to compose anything but comic opera.
What, no William Tell, no Semiramide, surely you jest! Regards, Len :roll:
They are serious operas of some substance I admit, but my paraphrase of Beethoven's comment is correct.
I'm afraid I believe Beethoven was speaking not from dispassionate judgment but a degree of envy. Rossini's popularity, even in Vienna, outshone Beethoven's and indeed all other composers, and the serious operas were part of the popularity. Meanwhile, Beethoven was struggling to compose a serious opera, in effect composing the same one twice. Rossini's apparently effortless productivity, and his success, would be enough to put any other composer in a bad humor.
Continue to be afraid.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Lance
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Re: Rossini's Extensive Piano Music

Post by Lance » Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:24 pm

Hi jbuck, sorry, but I don't agree at all, and with all due respect to dear old Mrs. Troidle. I doubt she ever heard these particular compositions. The particular disc I mentioned of mostly preludes (Volume 5 of the 8 CDs] allows us to hear another side of Rossini's recognized compositional genius. While he may not have been a pianist of note (maybe he didn't seek any notoriety in that instrument ... looks that way], he certainly understood writing for the piano. It is obvious Rossini knew much about the piano and technique required to play it properly for his time. I implore you to give this particular disc some attention. I am uncertain about the other seven volumes in this series, but Volume 5 gets a distinct thumbs up from me, and heard on a vintage piano that might more likely emulate the quality of sound of that time, which comes very close to the sounds we hear on today's concert instruments. Oh, and incidentally, I am very fond of that Inflammatus! It has been well preserved on discs by a number of legendary singers, old and new. True, it may be "operatic" in quality, but it leaves a good impression, at least for moi.
jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:23 am
Sorry, Lance, but they are horridly mediocre. I can't even conceive why Rossini composed them. Dear old Mrs. Troidle would never have assigned me such a piece. Beethoven got it right when he said that Rossini should never be allowed to compose anything but comic opera.

Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

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