Even though Gioachino Rossini was one of the most successful opera composers of his day, his overtures have become his best remembered works, quite independent of the original operas, most of which are seldom performed. Nowadays, the overtures stand on their own as popular concert openers, and their adaptability to film, television, and other media has made them instantly recognizable, even to casual listeners. Undoubtedly, the most enduring and ubiqitous are the overtures to Guillaume Tell and Il barbiere di Siviglia, and a few others approach these pieces in popularity, making the selection for an album easy, except for the decision of which ones to exclude. The pieces on this 2011 Sony release include Guillaume Tell and Il barbiere di Siviglia, as well as the overtures to La scala di seta, Il signor Bruschino, L'italiana in Algeri, and Il turco in Italia, along with the infrequently heard L'inganno felice, and Matilde di Shabran, two overtures that are worth knowing, though they easily could have been replaced by the much loved La gazza ladra and La cenerentola overtures. The performances by Alexander Liebreich and the Munich Chamber Orchestra are vibrant and exciting, and Rossini's rousing music is played with a nice balance of precision and energy, so this is worthwhile CD to add to any library.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|L'Italiana en Algeri|
|Matilde di Shabran|