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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the Overtures,
This review is from: Rossini: String Sonatas 1 - 6 (Audio CD)If you think all there is to Rossini is Overtures, then you are in for a treat with this Double Decca title. Collected on this two-disc set are Rossini's 6 String Sonatas, lovely three movement works written in the composer's youth and only rediscovered after WWII. They are not the most complex of works, but are thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless. Neville Marriner leads the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in these analog recordings from the mid-1960s, which also include works by Donizetti, Bellini and Cherubini. There is a competing Philips Duo title of the String Sonatas, but I opted for this one because one of my favorite recordings of Rossini's Overtures is also by Sir Neville (recently reissued in UNI's "Trio" series). Marriner once again shows that he is more than just Mozart.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best version available,
This review is from: Rossini: String Sonatas 1 - 6 (Audio CD)I long cherish this version in LP days. Now in the CD format the sound is still impressive and the performance has splendid character. Most enjoyable CDs.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming works by a youthful prodigy,
This review is from: Rossini: String Sonatas 1 - 6 (Audio CD)There seems to be some doubt about when exactly these works were written: the manuscript in Washington states that it was in 1804 which means that Rossini would have been an incredible twelve years old at the time of composition, although Rossini claimed that he was fourteen when he wrote them and Neville Marriner believes it to be more likely that Rossini was seventeen when they were finished - or perhaps revised. However, circumstantial evidence indicates the earliest date owing to the fact that Rossini gave such a prominent part to the double bass, as he was in the summer of 1804 staying in the house of a wealthy patron and gifted amateur bass player. Whatever the truth, he joins Mendelssohn in the ranks of child prodigies. (Mendelssohn's brilliant string symphonies were written when the composer was between eleven and fourteen years old and are included as a bonus in the box set of his symphonies conducted by Sawallisch on the bargain Brilliant label, played very neatly and expressively by the Amsterdam Sinfonietta directed by Lev Marke.)
Theses sonatas were originally for only two violins, a cello and a double bass; in this arrangement, Marriner here bulks out the middle voices with two violas and adds numbers to the violins. The violas only double up whereas the other instruments frequently have solo passages. Although they sometimes sound almost like admirable pastiches of Mozart's divertimenti and despite Rossini's evident indebtedness to him, his own voice frequently emerges in witty little curlicues and ironic, mock-melancholy descending figures.
This is not first-rate music, but, to paraphrase Richard Strauss, it is first-rate second-rate music. It is brilliant, bright, breezy and charming, requiring precision in ensemble, subtly graded dynamics and purity of tone to make its mark - qualities brought by the ASMF in abundance. I rarely treat music as background noise but I can envisage playing this at a dinner party or to provide a diversion while accomplishing some repetitive task; it doesn't demand deep concentration.
The fillers are just that and really rather negligible although I like the surprising modulations in the Donizetti and the lyrical horn solo in the Cherubini piece provides welcome tonal variety. The student work by Bellini gives a clear indication of the flowing melodic gift he would exploit to advantage in his operas.
All these recordings were made in the 60's; this double Decca offers a collection of elegant music in clear, warm, full sound at a bargain price.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By Ed Nielsen, author of Warriors & Classical Classics,
This review is from: Rossini: String Sonatas 1 - 6 (Audio CD)I thought Rossini only wrote great operas, but he also wrote great String Sonatas. Who knew? I happened to catch one of these gems on a cable music channel and immediately knew I wanted more. I found all six on this CD and couldn't be more happy with all of them. When an album involves Sir Neville Marriner and the ASMF, you know it's probably the best version available. I have a tolerance for sonatas to begin with, but they're usually solo pieces or with piano accompanimnet. This one features a full string orchestra and I thought I'd struck gold. Great album!Warriors
5.0 out of 5 stars Love these sonatas. Listen to them all the time.,
This review is from: Rossini: 6 String Sonatas/Donizetti/Cherubini/Bellini (MP3 Music)These sonatas are so beautiful! I first heard one in a video that NASA had put out on the way the moon would look in the future. I was taken with the music but I had no idea Rossini had written it. They sound like they were written by an earlier composer.
Anyway, they are all beautiful. And the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields is great as always. They have really figured out how to appeal to a mass audience.
5.0 out of 5 stars Classical Music Lover,
This review is from: Rossini: String Sonatas 1 - 6 (Audio CD)Rossina was a genius whose music flows so beautifully. This CD that I've purchased have had its fair share
of 'play' time already....
5.0 out of 5 stars best around,
This review is from: Rossini: String Sonatas 1 - 6 (Audio CD)I can only add my voice to the other reviewers who gave 5 stars. The String Sonatas are fully enjoyable on their own, their rossinian wit being fully captured by Marriner but here, thanks to the Academy, the sound is muscled up instead of the usual pale "string quartets" sound, and in this instance it works out wonderfully.
As I had the chance to say in another review, Marriner perhaps has not left a legacy on a particular piece or repertoire as the absolute n.1 but surely whatever he did, is consistently close to the top. No little achievement in my view.These Strings Sonatas are on the very top of his enormously wide repertoire.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars nice music,
This review is from: Rossini: String Sonatas 1 - 6 (Audio CD)don't have any complaints about this two cd collection. enjoyable cd's to listen to but seems that some of the songs sort of sound the same. that being said, i would buy it again.
0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rossini Sonatas,
This review is from: Rossini: String Sonatas 1 - 6 (Audio CD)The CDs themselves are up to London's usual standards; that is, excellent. The jewel box was severely damaged. It had been taped together and a note indicating that a replacement box would accompany the shipment. However, no replacement box was included. Can I still get one?
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