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Progetto ROS / Rossini Opera Stampa; a 'KAUS Urbino Project' related to the Rossini Opera Festival 2012
first draughts for mechanical music
Artistically speaking, what was this world where Rossini worked in?
Living in the second half
of the 'romantic era' (1750-1850) Giaochino Rossini would be
well acquainted with the 'improvvisatori e improvvisatrici' and
their theatrical-, and indeed street-performances, known and
applauded by 'tout l'Europe', for as far as some would be on
'the Grand Tour'.
If that is not the world that Giaochino Rossini worked in, it certainly is the infinitely difficult minute to minute decission taking space where today's performers live in; knowingly taking up a score in which the composer has left 'some' space for improvisation
Improvisation = deviation
for modern musicians, as 'we' have learned to work on pieces
that bear to the minutest of detail the intentions of the composer.
This is a million miles away from a composer starting at 12 years
old from a musical family, with the experience of a father being
(shortly as this may have been) imprisoned for political reasons,
and a mother making the most of a good but not well trained voice.
All that in an economical situation in all of Europe where money
was tight and talent used to the utmost to make a penny; pasta
was invented to make use of a flour that was for animals in richer
era's, and the tomato (being cheap to produce) was becomming
the food of the people after a long time of obscurity in which
it was considered poisonous.
I am beginning to think that
Giaochino Rossini, sometimes writing for the orchestra most in
the intresting instrumentations / at the same time rhythmically
fairly boring / does by this approach leave singers the greatest
of free space for that 'elaborating'; it gets better when on
'this carpet' of instrumental sound 'the steps' of a singer has
its own time.
draughts for mechanical music box:
"Dad made Rossini into some impossible, and ongoing Thieving Jay"
another dad: "Rossini's music was a very popular concert choice post-war, when we needed to forget the unpleasantness about us"
"Such < the Thieving Jay > is probably not fair to Rossini, but it certainly kept me from listening for other stuf"
"Ill sleep on Rossini
(note: ON, not WITH)"
"a director < > to hooked on very shallow iconography and allegory < > poses à la 'Grease' etc < > a half-dimensional view of everything"
"Could be the second vision of hell is listening to eternal trills and warbles"
then on a more positive note:
"a Frederica von Stade I cannot forget; it giving you the feeling that too many inexperienced singers are thrown on poor old Rossini"
(yes it is spring and my hair is off)
Joseph J. Visser, Composer, Visual Artist , Author/translator & Lecturer.
Dietrich Buxtehude married Anna Margarethe Tunder, the daughter of his (late) predecessor, as part of the bargain, in order to keep her from poverty. It was a happy mariage for all we know. Such arrangements, also nowadays, are more commonplace than most of us care to think. I know in my art-school, 1960ies, a girl in fact doing the same (she was not happy and had - or should I say, suffered - psychological treatment).
Such 'keep the money in the family' marriages are no surprise; and on the otherhand we should consider many lower working-class people never even got to the status of being married, by lack of money to begin with, until pretty much 1900.
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