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Late Style and its DiscontentsEssays in art, literature, and music$
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Gordon McMullan and Sam Smiles

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198704621

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704621.001.0001

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The ‘Late Styles’ of Gioachino Rossini

The ‘Late Styles’ of Gioachino Rossini

(p.105) 6 The ‘Late Styles’ of Gioachino Rossini
Late Style and its Discontents

Philip Gossett

Oxford University Press

If any composer should have had a late style, it is Rossini, who largely stopped composing after his last opera, Guillaume Tell of 1829, and his return to Paris to seek the help of Parisian doctors. It was twenty-five years before he composed again. Although this ‘late’ music, the so-called ‘Sins of Old Age’, does have characteristics that are not found in his earlier music, consisting of chamber pieces largely for piano or piano and voice, or the Petite Messe solennelle, they do not constitute what we would consider a single ‘late style’ but rather a number of styles which we might consider ‘late’.

Keywords:   musicology, late style, old age, Paris, opera, chamber music

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