Rossini Overtures Volume 2 Maintains High Standards

Review by: David Hurwitz


Artistic Quality: 9

Sound Quality: 9

Rossini’s overtures are so delightful, and so unlike any other music. Really, is there anything out there that delivers sheer pleasure so consistently? This second volume in Naxos’ ongoing series has one minor flaw: the final gallop in William Tell sounds just a bit cautious, all the more so when the preceding sections are so lively and captivating. Otherwise, this disc is an unalloyed winner, featuring a selection of familiar and unfamiliar pieces from the very early (Sinfonia di Bologna) to the very late (William Tell). Indeed, we hear bits of the Sinfonia di Bologna twice, since Rossini reused some of it in L’inganno felice.

There are some imposing pieces in this collection: Sigismondo and Eduardo e Cristina in particular are two of Rossini’s larger works in the form. The two popular overtures, La scala di seta and Il Signor Bruschino, the latter with its tapping violin bows, are especially delightful here at Christian Benda’s quick tempos. The woodwind players, so critical to these pieces, are particularly fine—not a surprise from a Czech ensemble. The oboe soloist at the start of La scala di seta is amazing, and the strings have the necessary ensemble precision and rhythmic bounce to make the performances completely convincing. Fine sound too. Strongly recommended.

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Recording Details:

Reference Recording: No reference recording

    Overtures: William Tell; Eduardo e Cristina; L'inganno felice; La scala di seta; Demetrio e Polibio; Il Signor Bruschino; Sinfonia di Bologna; Sigismondo

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