Talk:Gioachino Rossini

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High traffic

On February 29, 2012, Gioachino Rossini was linked from Google, a high-traffic website. (See visitor traffic)


Writing by formula[edit]

Rossini is somewhat infamous as a composer who wrote music by formula. Many of his overtures, with the exception of "William Tell", have similar structures. Additionally, most of his operatic music follows the set formulas of Bel Canto opera. Nevertheless, there is no mention of this anywhere in the page. Perhaps this should be included somewhere. --71.116.174.249 (talk) 21:02, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

I think "infamous" and "wrote music by formula" rather overstate the case. Yes, he did stick to what worked best; but that's really no different in essence from what many other successful composers did. Haydn wrote huge amounts of piano sonatas, most with the same structure. Would you say he "wrote by formula"? If Rossini really was "infamous", the great conductors of the world would refuse to conduct a bar of him. -- JackofOz (talk) 23:08, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

It is more than the basic structure that is identical in different works by Rossini. His overtures are basically compilations of two to four crescendi, all of which even have nearly identical harmonic structures. I think writing music in a single, predetermined manner is by definition writing by formula. This is not necessarily negative, as his music is still effective; however, since his music was still composed largely in this manner, I think that it should be mentioned in the article. --71.116.171.185 (talk) 02:08, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

The name (again!)[edit]

The name is Gioacchino —Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.207.76.202 (talk) 23:54, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Please RTA. --Kleinzach 04:29, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

Rossini the virtuoso pianist[edit]

He described himself as "a pianist of the 4th order" (= 4th rate), but some of his Péchés de vieillesse would seem to belie that. On Aldo Ciccolini's old Seraphim LP of some of the pieces, is a quote from Maurice Tassart (unknown to me, but apparently a minor writer on opera):

  • The composer of "William Tell" was, according to Liszt, Saint-Saens and Diémer, a virtuoso of the first order.

I've not been able to confirm this quote anywhere, or find anything of substance about Rossini's pianistic prowess. A few sites say he was anything but 4th-rate, but don't give any further details. Can anyone help me? Thanks. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 05:49, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

I've been looking at Osborne, Richard (1986). Rossini. London: Dent. ISBN 0-460-03179-1. . It doesn't mention Tassart. There's a more recent edition, which I really ought to get, but there's enough on the subject in the above edition to confirm the substance of Tassart's statement, as follows (authors' quotes are italicised, the rest is Osborne)
  • "In his journal of 7 March, 1824, Thomas Moore ... added: His [i.e. Rossini's] mastery over the pianoforte is miraculous, a judgement which such expert witnesses as Saint-Saëns would again endorse in later years." (p.63)
  • "Pianists, all of whom marvelled at Rossini's own playing, included Diémer and Thalberg, as well as Liszt and Saint-Saëns" (p.112)
  • "Most contemporary witnesses seem to agree with him [Saint-Saëns] when he writes that Rossini played the piano to perfection." (p.268; from S-S's Ecole buissinière, 1913)
Hope this helps. Feel free to quote any or all of the above.--GuillaumeTell 17:40, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Excellent. It's amazing, the things we keep on finding out about the composers we thought we knew well. Thanks heaps, M. Tell. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 20:52, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
15 months on, I've included your references in the text. Thanks again, M. Tell. -- ♬ Jack of Oz[your turn] 03:31, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Gioachino Rossini[edit]

On his birthday in 2012, goggle honoured Gioachino Rossini with a google doodle 75.117.161.45 (talk) 05:10, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Not done. This is emphemeral trivia which doesn't contribute to an understanding of Rossini's life and music. Voceditenore (talk) 06:36, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 29 February 2012[edit]

Gioachino Antonio Rossini[1] (Italian pronunciation: [dʒoaˈkiːno anˈtɔːnjo rosˈsiːni] (Giovacchino Antonio Rossini in the baptismal certificate)[2] (29 February 1792 – 13 November 1868) was an Italian composer who wrote 39 operas as well as sacred music, chamber music, songs, and some instrumental and piano pieces. His best-known operas include the Italian comedies Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) and La Cenerentola and the French-language epics Moïse et Pharaon and Guillaume Tell (William Tell). A tendency for inspired, song-like melodies is evident throughout his scores, which led to the nickname "The Italian Mozart." Until his retirement in 1829, Rossini had been the most popular opera composer in history.[3] Contents [hide] 1 Biography 1.1 Education 1.2 Early career 1.3 The Barber of Seville (Il barbiere di Siviglia) 1.4 Marriage and mid-career 1.5 End of career 1.6 Later years 1.7 Honors and tributes 1.8 Rossiniana 1.9 Notes 2 Works 3 References 4 External links Biography


Portrait of Gioachino Rossini in 1820, International Museum and Library of Music, Bologna Gioachino Antonio Rossini was born into a family of musicians in Pesaro, a town on the Adriatic coast of Italy which was then part of the Papal States. His father, Giuseppe, was a horn player and inspector of slaughterhouses. His mother, Anna, was a singer and a baker's daughter. Rossini's parents began his musical training early, and by the age of six he was playing the triangle in his father's musical group. Rossini's father was sympathetic to the French Revolution and welcomed Napoleon Bonaparte's troops when they arrived in northern Italy. When Austria restored the old regime in 1796, Rossini's father was sent to prison and his mother took him to Bologna, making a living as a leading singer at various theatres of the Romagna region. Her husband would ultimately join her in Bologna. During this time

Ok, so it states that at the age of six Gioachino Rossini was playing the triangle in his dad's band. In the next paragraph it states that after Austria restored the old regime in 1796, his father was thrown in jail and his mother took him to Bologna. In 1796 Gioachino was only four. Unless his father was thrown in jail for an unpaid speeding ticket in his horse and buggy (I suspect it was for treason or something of the sort), and unless the mother and father reconnected after she ran off with the their little four year old to Bologna, I doubt that Gioachino played the triangle in his fathers' band at AGE SIX. 66.214.235.107 (talk) 05:30, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

I can't even find a reference for the triangle bit, but the article dates are wrong. His father was imprisoned by the Austrians in 1799 and released in June 1800. (Prior to his marriage, Rossini's father had had a brief prior spell in prison for insubordination when he was in the army band.) So it's quite possible that he was playing in his father's band at age 6. I'll make some changs in the article. Voceditenore (talk) 06:19, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Playing with his father's musical group does not depend on whether his father was out of prison (or not), although it's unclear which. Hopefully Voceditenore's edits will clarify. Dru of Id (talk) 06:26, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Opera singing[edit]

Canto opera. Nevertheless, there is no mention of this anywhere in the page. Perhaps this should be included somewhere. --71.116.174.249 (talk) 21:02, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

I've moved your comment here. Please add comments to the bottom of this page and do not remove material already on the page. Voceditenore (talk) 09:11, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
It is mentioned: "In 1805 he appeared at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna in Ferdinando Paer's Camilla, his only public appearance as a singer." Voceditenore (talk) 09:20, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

21st Birthday[edit]

One paragraph begins "By his 21st birthday Rossini had established himself as the idol of the Italian opera public." But Rossini, born on February 29, never had a 21st birthday (he only lived to be 76 years old, not 88!) Since I presume the sentence means "by February 1813", shouldn't it more properly read "by his 5th birthday" (February 29, 1816 - 1800 was not a leap year), or of course it could just be corrected to be "By the time he was 21 years old", but that's not as fun! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 146.142.4.32 (talk) 13:46, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 29 February 2012[edit]

Under "Honors and tributes" please add reference to Google Doodle from 29 Feb. 2012

Kickandrew (talk) 19:32, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Not done. This is emphemeral trivia which doesn't contribute to an understanding of Rossini's life and music, and doesn't compare to the sorts of things that are mentioned in the "Honors and tributes" section, and not even all of those are mentioned, only the most important. Voceditenore (talk) 19:39, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Rossini as pop song writer[edit]

There was a minor edit which removed a the statement (not added by me, by the way): "Critic David Dubal has said that Rossini could be called the inventor of the pop song. His operatic arias were hummed by people in the street and were written with a genuinely mass audience in mind." The grounds for removal was that there was no citation provided, and "if citable, Dubal doesn't know what he's talking about." [revision 07:26, 30 December 2012] I believe this reversion may be a bit hasty.

The statement is citable, to "The Essential Canon of Classical Music," By David Dubal, North Point Press, NY 2001, p. 178. The relevant portion of Dubal's text is as follows: "Rossini’s music is crystal clear: his constructions are tight; the harmony is clever and diatonic; above all, the melodies are easy to remember. His type of melody – simple, rather square, and easily developed in sequence – was the secret of his success. Rossini was the first tunesmith; one might even say that he was the inventor of the pop song. He caught the ear of a growing middle-class public with music that appealed as never before to a mass audience."

We are left with the objection that the statement is simply erroneous, but at this point the proposition that Dubal is mistaken itself lacks verification. More importantly, the claim being made by Dubal credits Rossini with doing something rather important. It places Rossini as a point of transition between opera as court entertainment versus opera as popular entertainment. Opera has been both, in its history. And, at some point popular song moved from being dominated by non-professional/traditional music-makers to being dominated by professional song-writers. If the man on the street in 1830 was singing Rossini instead of a folk melody, then Rossini is part of that story too. In this context, I don't think Dubal's statement is inherently silly. It's not like Dubal is comparing Rossini to Lady Gaga. From Rossini through Gershwin, popular music and opera were close enough to one another that they could overlap, and did overlap. It is also worth keeping in mind that many people coming to Wikipedia may not be aware that some of what is now lumped together as "classical" music was popular rather than elite entertainment.

While the material added could have been cited, simply deleting it seems not to be the right approach, since it cuts off the possibility of developing that subject matter further. I would suggest that the deleted material should probably be restored (with a citation). Hopefully future edits will elaborate on Rossini's place in the history of popular music. — Preceding unsigned comment added by David.thompson.esq (talkcontribs) 00:41, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

I removed that section as it was written because opera composers have written for a mass audience well before Rossini and people were humming melodies in the street at least since Handel. The full quote (thank you for that) claims Rossini as the first tunesmith. Really? This is just too silly for words. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 08:25, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
If Rossini significantly expanded the audience for opera, the statement would be non-silly and perhaps even correct. This is a C-class article that could use some serious attention, which is less likely to happen if good-faith, citable revisions are simply reverted on the basis of the reverter's own knowledge and expertise. I realize that you may in fact be right that the statement is incorrect or so exaggerated as to be valueless (tho David Dubal disagrees with you, and is published), but I think there should be some other process for amending such errors (if error it is) than reversion. I will be on the lookout for sources that discuss Rossini's audience -- perhaps you can do the same. As for "tunesmith", at least Dubal didn't call him the George M. Cohan of 19th Century Italy.  : ) David.thompson.esq (talk) 19:58, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm sure the wider audience at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Opera could give this matter more informed consideration than I can. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 03:54, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

I don't know why the statement I added was deleted. David Dubal teaches at Julliard and I gainsay knows a bit more about the matter than the people here calling him silly. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.12.247.125 (talk) 00:19, 19 March 2013 (UTC)