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RossiniHis Life and Works$
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Richard Osborne

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195181296

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181296.001.0001

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Retirement from Operatic Composition

Retirement from Operatic Composition

(p.113) Chapter eleven Retirement from Operatic Composition

Richard Osborne

Oxford University Press

In 1829–1830, the likelihood of Gioachino Rossini’s retirement from operatic composition was a widely reported news story; by the end of the decade it was a fact of life, regretted by some, understood by most. To the post-Romantic mind, retirement at the age of 37 suggested creative failure; to more earnest souls, it suggested moral turpitude, a failure of resolve. By the 1930s, neither of these parties set much store by Rossini’s music or knew much about it, which is where they differed from their predecessors. The opera-going public of the late 1820s was almost as exhausted by Rossini’s music as the man who had composed it. For them, the writing of 39 operas in 19 years, several of them masterpieces, few of them outright failures, was seen as a fair return on anyone’s money.

Keywords:   Gioachino Rossini, retirement, operatic composition, music, public, operas

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