Skip to comments.There's always a party at Chez Rossini
Posted on 03/22/2013 7:58:41 AM PDT by Borges
Inevitably, our tastes change as we grow older. Most of the pop songs that once served as anthems are now exercises in nostalgia, calling up happy ghosts rather than anything new and urgent. The dense romantic adventure novel that we swore by in our teens no longer holds our interest, but we can lose ourselves in the hitherto-impenetrable nuances and shadows of Henry James. The sentimental sweetness of Charles Chaplin remains affecting, but we are increasingly grateful for the stoniness of Buster Keaton and the petty but hilarious cruelties of W.C. Fields.
And sometimes there are surprises. Had I told my 20-year-old self that the day would come when Rossini's comic operas would mean more than the vast majority of the classical repertory, that kid would have scoffed and cranked up his latest recording of Mahler's 6th.
But I was a lapel-shaker in those days, out for Heavy Meaning, Cosmic Angst and the Sky Opening to Reveal Secret Truths. It would never have occurred to me that brilliant and opulent light music such as "La Cenerentola" (Cinderella), charged throughout with the sublime and silly mystery of being alive, might ultimately seem more durable and just possibly more profound.
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Opera is beautiful...until the singing starts.
Ballet is great unless I have to watch.
I prefer G&S, especially “Pirates”, especially with Linda Ronstadt.
Of all art.
I was raised on Rossini! My Beloved Daddy had many of his overtures (recorded by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops) and he played them so many times that I know them note for note.
Rossini’s overtures are used all the time by the media. Who can forget The Theme From the “Lone Ranger” (William Tell)?
The Beatles used the music from “La Gazza ladra” during the entire ski chase scene in “HELP!”, and also when they were running the closing credits.
And, of course, cartoons and commercials use his music all the time.
In the ninth grade, I won a Statewide Oratorical Contest with a lecture about how Rossini’s music was being used everywhere.
I like Mahler too, but Rossini makes me smile.
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