Autograph musical quotation from Semiramide. Gioachino ROSSINI.
Autograph musical quotation from Semiramide.
Autograph musical quotation from Semiramide.

Autograph musical quotation from Semiramide.

Signed and dated Florence, February 29, 1852 on the occasion of Rossini's 60th birthday

134 x 180 mm. Notated in blue ink on ivory wove paper within decorative embossed border.
Laid down to a larger leaf, 221 x 307 mm.

Three measures in piano-vocal score, being a setting of Arsace's cavatina from Act I of Semiramide, with text commencing "Ah! quel giorno ognor rammento (Ah! I always remember that day).

From the collection of the distinguished American mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne (b. 1934).

Penned on the composer's 60th birthday, the text would suggest that the person for whom the quotation was executed was someone quite close to Rossini. Ricordi wrote a letter to the publisher Ricordi on this same day, inviting him to a party to celebrate the occasion together with him in Florence; the present quotation may thus have been intended for one of the guests at the party.

With a manuscript poem identified as being by Giuseppe Barellai (1813-1884) celebrating a wedding to verso (a physician of that name is recorded as residing in Florence at the time but we have been unable to find evidence of any association between Rossini and Barrellai).

Semiramide, a "melodramma tragico" in two acts to a libretto by Gaetano Rossi after Voltaire's Sémiramis, was first performed in Venice at the Teatro La Fenice on February 3, 1823. It was the last opera that Rossini wrote in Italy.

"With Semiramide, Rossini brought his Italian career to a spectacular close. After a series of operas in which the primary areas of interest were either vocal or architectural, Rossini once again drew vocal, dramatic, and architectural elements into harmony with one another. The strategic planning is formidable, with an opening movement of over 700 bars and an Act 1 finale of over 900 bars; the work points directly forward to the huge structural spans of Guillaume Tell (1829)." Richard Osborne in Grove Music Online.

"Horne had a voice of extraordinary range, rich and tangy in timbre, with a stentorian chest register and an exciting top... In concert she once achieved the feat of singing in a single programme Rossini arias and Brünnhilde’s Immolation Scene, proof of her exceptional versatility. Throughout her lengthy career she was an admired recitalist, singing lieder, mélodies, Spanish and American songs with equal aplomb." Alan Blyth in Grove Music Online.

One of the very few known examples of Rossini quoting music from one of his own operas

We would like to thank Rossini scholar Dr. Daniela Macchione for her assistance in the cataloguing of this item.

Item #31431

Price: $7,500.00  other currencies

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