Rossini, Gioacchino

Guillaume Tell (full opera score in 2 volumes with French libretto)

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Gioacchino Rossini – Opera in four acts after Schiller’s drama Wilhelm Tell (1804)

(b. Pesaro, 29 February 1792 – d. Paris, 13 November 1868)Guillaume Tell (1828-29)

Preface

Of the many choice anecdotes associated with Gioacchino Rossini’s skill in repartee, one in particular has gone down in history. An admirer once greeted him with the words, “Ah,Maestro, the Opéra gave Act II of your Guillaume Tell last night!” “What!” exclaimed Rossini.”The whole of it?”

Amusing as it is, behind this quintessentially Rossinian bon mot there also lies a story.Guillaume Tell is not only Rossini’s final opera, it is also the first and only opera he conceivedand executed entirely in French. All his preceding works had been either written originally inItalian or, after 1822, reworked into French from earlier Italian models. Not so Guillaume Tell,with which Rossini, for the first time, set out to conceive a work in French on the scaleassociated with the nascent species of grand opéra as practiced by Spontini and Auber.Especially the latter’s La Muette de Portici (1828), based on a geniune historical incident andfilled with patriotic fustian and revolutionary fervor, set standards for the genre which Rossini,the leading opera composer of the day, could scarcely afford to ignore. Accordingly he soughtout Étienne de Jouy (1764-1846), the author of Spontini’s La Vestale (1807) and FernandCortez (1809) as well as Rossini’s own Moïse et Pharaon (1827), to fashion a libretto on agrand historical subject. At the same time Rossini let it be known to the press that the newwork might well be his last opera (as it indeed turned out to be). There was every indication,then, that Guillaume Tell was to be his operatic testament and would be laid out on a scaleappropriate to the lifetime achievement of the greatest opera composer of the age. …

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Score No.

92

Edition

Opera Explorer

Size

160 x 240 mm

Printing

Reprint

Genre

Opera

Pages

854

Title

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