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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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Heroic Comedy and the Forming of a Method

(p.199) Chapter Twenty-Two Tancredi:

Richard Osborne

Oxford University Press

Tancredi was the work with which, in Gaetano Rossi’s phrase, Gioachino Rossini “rose to glory.” It was his fully fledged opera seria and it established him, more or less instantly, as Italy’s leading composer of contemporary opera. He was not yet 21. As a musical strategist, he was wise beyond his years, yet the music itself was utterly without guile. Tancredi charmed audiences even as it refreshed and inspired them. One factor was its seemingly endless flow of pristine melody. Another was the grace and dash of its rhythms. The opera gave instant pleasure, yet it also struck a deeper note. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe spoke for many when he dubbed it a “pastoral fable,” a reminder to a world sullied by war, revolution, and Romantic excess of a prelapsarian state of untarnished beauty, order, and equilibrium.

Keywords:   Tancredi, Gaetano Rossi, Gioachino Rossini, opera, Italy, music, melody, rhythms, von Goethe

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