Tancredi Overture (1813)
Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)
Rossini was the world’s favourite opera composer for the first half of the nineteenth century. He is best known for his mastery of the “opera buffa”, a comic opera with many singable tunes. However, it was an “opera seria” or “tragic opera” that made his name. Tancredi was his 19th opera written when he was just 20, and established Rossini as the foremost opera composer of his time.
Tancredi is based on a 1760 play by Voltaire that tells of the doomed love of the soldier Tancredi for the daughter of a powerful ruler. Not unusually for Rossini, he ran out of time to write a new overture for Tancredi, so he re-used the overture to an earlier opera, La pietra del paragone. Featuring all the elements that made Rossini the master of the concert overture, its slow introduction leads to an exciting build-up built on a characteristic “Rossini crescendo”.
Performed: March 2020