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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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(p.187) Chapter twenty Overtures

Richard Osborne

Oxford University Press

Overtures were sometimes adapted or reused, to the great joy of the anti-Gioachino Rossini brigade, who were fond of pointing out that whereas Ludwig van Beethoven wrote four overtures for one opera, Rossini wrote one overture for three operas and would have probably used it for a fourth had the need arisen. The overture to Aureliano in Palmira, which Rossini later reused with expanded orchestral forces in Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra and, unmodified, in Il barbiere di Siviglia, is curiously unrepresentative in two ways. First, music from the overture, including the whole of the Andante maestoso, recurs in the main body of the original opera, a form of thematic recurrence condemned by the 63-year-old Rossini, even though he himself had adopted it in a number of his works. Second, no other Rossini overture was so obviously and extensively redeployed.

Keywords:   overtures, Gioachino Rossini, Beethoven, Andante maestoso, opera

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