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Rossiniana is the name of two works, one by Mauro Giuliani, the other by Ottorino Respighi, both based on compositions by Gioachino Rossini.

Giuliani's Rossiniane[edit]

"Rossiniane" are a virtuoso variations cycle for the guitar based on themes by Rossini. One of the unique features of these Galant Classical compositions is that they were jointly composed by Giuliani, Paganinni (who was also an accomplished guitarist), and Rossini himself at Rossini's villa.[citation needed] Mauro Giuliani (who died in 1829) alone is formally credited with composing the six sets of jointly composed variations for guitar on themes by Rossini, Opp. 119–124 (c. 1820–1828). Each set was called "Rossiniana", and collectively they are called "Rossiniane". This was the first known tribute by one composer to another using a title with the ending -ana.

Giuliani's achievements as a composer were numerous. Giuliani's 150 compositions for guitar with opus number constitute the nucleus of the nineteenth-century guitar repertory. He composed extremely challenging pieces for solo guitar as well as works for orchestra and Guitar-Violin and Guitar-Flute duos.

Outstanding pieces by Giuliani include his three guitar concertos (op. 30-36 and 70); a series of six fantasias for guitar solo, op. 119-124, based on airs from Rossini operas and entitled the "Rossiniane."

Themes in Giuliani's Le Rossiniane[edit]

Rossiniana I, Op. 119 Introduction (Andantino) “Assisa a piè d’un salice” (Otello) “Languir per una bella”, Andante grazioso (L’Italienne à Alger) “Con gran piacer, ben mio”, Maestoso (L’Italienne à Alger) ”Caro, caro ti parlo in petto”, Moderato (L’Italienne à Alger) “Cara, per te quest’anima”, Allegro Vivace (Armida)

Rossiniana II, Op. 120 Introduction (Sostenuto) “Deh ! Calma, o ciel”, Andantino sostenuto (Otello) “Arditi all’ire”, Allegretto innocente (Armida) “Non più mesta accanto al fuoco”, Maestoso (Cendrillon) “Di piacer mi balza il cor”, (La pie voleuse) “Fertilissima Regina”, Allegretto (Cendrillon)

Rossiniana III, Op. 121 Introduction (Maestoso Sostenuto) “Un soave non so che” (Cendrillon) “Oh mattutini albori!”, Andantino (La dame du lac) “Questo vecchio maledetto”, (Le Turc en Italie) “Sorte! Secondami”, Allegro (Zelmira) “Cinto di nuovi allori”, Maestoso (Ricciardo et Zoraïde)

Rossiniana IV, Op. 122 Introduction (Sostenuto-Allegro Maestoso) “Forse un dì conoscerete”, Andante (La pie voleuse) “Mi cadono le lagrime” (La pie voleuse) “Ah se puoi così lasciarmi”, Allegro Maestoso (Moïse en Egypte) “Piacer egual gli dei”, Maestoso (Mathilde de Shabran) “Voglio ascoltar” (La pierre de touche)

Rossiniana V, Op. 123 Introduction (Allegro con brio) “E tu quando tornerai”, Andantino mosso (Tancrède) “Una voce poco fa” (Le Barbier de Séville) “Questo è un nodo avviluppato”, Andante sostenuto (Cendrillon) “Là seduto l’amato Giannetto”, Allegro (La pie voleuse) “Zitti zitti, piano piano”, Allegro (Le Barbier de Séville)

Rossiniana VI, Op. 124 Introduction (Maestoso) “Qual mesto gemito”, Larghetto (Sémiramis) “Oh quante lagrime finor versai”, Maestoso (La dame du lac) “Questo nome che suona vittoria”, Allegro brillante (Le siège de Corinthe)

The "Introduction" from Rossiniana No. 2 has become well known in popular culture due to its inclusion in the Counter Strike Italy map.


Respighi's Rossiniana[edit]

Rossiniana, P. 148, is a 1925 orchestral suite by Ottorino Respighi, based on four piano pieces by Gioachino Rossini.

Respighi had written the ballet La Boutique fantasque for Léonide Massine in 1919, basing it on short piano pieces from Rossini's collection Péchés de vieillesse (Sins of Old Age). In 1925, he returned to Rossini's music, but not as a ballet, simply as concert music.[2][3] He again used Sins of Old Age, specifically Quelques riens (Various nothings) from Volume XII, and applied what he called a trascrizione libera (free transcription) to them.[4]

The four movements are:

  • "Capri e Taormina (Barcarola e Siciliana)"
  • "Lamento"
  • "Intermezzo"
  • "Tarantella 'puro sangue' (con passaggio de la Processione)”.[2]

The scoring is brilliant, but also dark and evocative. Although not written for ballet, Rossiniana is eminently suitable for use in ballet.[5] It has been choreographed,[6] and the music has been recorded as "Rossiniana (ballet music)".[7] It has also received other recordings without any reference to ballet.


External links[edit]