Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gioachino Rossini: Complete Operas & Other Works

"The point is... a person feels good listening to Rossini. All you feel like listening to Beethoven is going out and invading Poland. Ode to Joy indeed. The man didn't even have a sense of humor. I tell you... there is more of the Sublime in the snare-drum part of the La Gazza Ladra than in the whole Ninth Symphony."  -- Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

"The first characteristic of Rossini's music is speed -- a speed which removes from the soul all the sombre emotions that are so powerfully evoked within us by the slow strains in Mozart. I find also in Rossini a cool freshness, which, measure by measure, makes us smile with delight." -- Stendhal , Life of Rossini

Happy 53rd birthday
This playlist collects Italian composer Gioachino Rossini's complete works.It starts with Giulini's classic recording of the overtures; then I put in the complete operas in chronological order, as listed here (most of his 39 operas are available on Spotify); after the last opera William Tell, composed when Rossini was only 37 and was going to live another 39 years, you can find all the sacred music, chamber music, songs, and some instrumental and piano pieces. For Petite Messe Solennelle (1863) I included two recordings: the original version played on Pleyels built in 1858 and 1869, and a harmonium from 1878; and the orchestrated version. At the end there is Chailly's Rossini Discoveries (now out of print), which features seven world premiere recordings of rarities.

Here's the Spotify playlist: Gioachino Rossini: Complete Operas & Other Works (1476 tracks, total time: 100 hours) Ctrl (CMD)+G to browse in album view. Most tracks are available on both Spotify Europe and USA. Also check out my previous Naxos Educational playlist for Opera Explained - The Barber Of Seville & Tancredi.


  1. Rossin's music is wonderful, I started to listen to it in youth, and know I am interested in his bio, and recently found this funny stroy about him -

  2. Rossini's music is far from the best and he is mostly remembered for his invention of the Rossini crescendo, whereby he gradually and relentlessly increases the tempo by shortening the measures while speeding them up. the effect of this maneuver has a tendency to start driving you nuts and keeps getting you more and more excited. Other than that, his music never approaches that of Beethoven.