Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gioachino Rossini, Neville Marriner, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields|
Rossini: Complete Overtures
Listen to Samples
Similarly Requested CDs
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I only have glowing things to say about this set of Rossini overtures. First of all, Rossini's overtures are brilliant gems. They are light, fun and full of life!! Secondly, Marriner's conducting is marvellous. The performance sparkle like precious diamonds. Everything is very enjoyable, there's not a single boring number, unlike many other discs you purchase. And to top it off, it comes at a terrific bargain price. 3 very full CDs - 75 mins, 30 mins and 65 mins - of top notch music at seven dollars a piece is incredible."
If You Seek This Many Rossini Overtures This Set Does an Exc
Doug - Haydn Fan | California | 09/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One French wit in the early part of the nineteenth century observed that he had more fun at a Rossini opera than in the bedroom, and Rossini's irresistable melodies, infectious gaiety, and wild zany sense of humor, all coupled with the dizzy acceleration of the famous Rossini crescendo makes this music as captivating and exciting today as it was two centuries ago when ladies intoxicated by the emotional power of the music fainted in the aisles. Rossini also wrote more serious music, his Otello was a great favorite of a man who knew his operas, Verdi, and the set also includes examples of this less known side of the composer of the Barber of Seville.
Neville Marriner recorded a great number of Rossini overtures back in the second half of the seventies, between 1974 and 1980, and this 3 CD set rounds up the lot and presents them in one box set. No attempt has been made to issue them in the order of composition - indeed the first CD begins with the last - the famous William Tell Overture. The rarer and earlier works, generally of far less interest, are closeted away on the third CD, while the first CD garners many of the best, and the second CD at least has several genuine masterpieces among the lesser pieces.
Rossini was a master of the orchestra, and certainly there is far more than enough to justify two CDs, if not three. However, Philips is not charging an arm and a leg for the box set, so perhaps it's best to view the lesser ones as an addendum.
The performances are brisk, with excellent rythmic impetus, and played with the pure clean tones favored by the Academy. Marriner doesn't surpass the greatest versions in the major works, such as the legendary Toscanini, or in stereo, Szell, but Marriner and his orchestra are alert and highly finished. Overall these grade out at between A to B+ performances; surely a box set anyone could enjoy over time. The set might also make a nice addition to a single CD set of the Rossini overtures. Again you have a chance with this set to hear a truly great master working up a form to ever more and more astonishing displays of pure pandemonium.
The sound has been improved from the LPs, which, while pretty enough, lacked a little oomph. These improvements make for a greater swagger and power, not always quite reached on the LPs. The sound stage and sonic effects fall a little short of the best recent recordings - the snare drum in La gazza ladra simply doesn't richocet off the walls as it can in live performances or contemporary SACD CDs. However, the musicianship remains very high, and if you originally owned and liked the first LP issues, these on CD will not be a disappointment.
A nine page essay in English by Philip Gosset discusses the overtures in fair historical detail - also in French and German translation.
A very good set, then, with the understanding that most people might be happy with a single CD of Rossini's overtures, such as Rossini: Overtures or in an expensive but stunning SACD reissue of the Cleveland Orchestra under Szell Rossini, Auber, Berlioz: Overtures [SACD]. For the adventuresome, this set should provide a wealth of interest and much pleasure.
Playing one of the CDs again I am even more impressed by the level of achievement. This is a terrific CD set!"
Excellent performance and recording
Classical Lawyer | Columbia, SC | 02/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you like Rossini, this is an a must-have recording. Sure, he tended to write the same pieces over and over again, but they are utterly delightful. These performances by Neville Marriner and his personal orchestra are precise, and the fun inherent in many of these works does not get lost in the shuffle. The orchestra is blessed with excellent woodwind players; just listen to the oboe on some of the really fast passages.
Nice recorded sound. I really don't have anything bad to say about this entire package. It's almost a desert island recording for times where Mahler or Beethoven might be a little (or a lot) heavy."