State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra

Rossini: Overtures

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Of all his works, Gioachino Rossini's overtures are the main draw for newcomers to his music, and even though his operas and other major works should be heard for a fuller appreciation of his place in music history, almost everyone forms an initial impression of the composer through these vivacious concert favorites. Most famous of all is the overture to Guillaume Tell, from its use as the theme for The Lone Ranger, though the overtures to Il barbiere di Siviglia and La gazza ladra are so popular that they have become instantly recognizable to casual listeners. Classical devotées are quite likely to know themes from the overtures to Semiramide and L'italiana in Algeri, but the rest of the overtures on this program, such as Il signor Bruschino, Il turco in Italia, and La scala di seta, while thoroughly enjoyable and memorable, are in the category of works that still get played but haven't achieved universal recognizability. Enrique Bátiz leads the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the first track, while the remaining selections are played by the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra. The performance of La gazza ladra is scarcely superior to what follows it on the album, for both orchestras play with abundant enthusiasm and vibrant color, and the sound quality is fairly even across the board. While most classical enthusiasts probably have Rossini's overtures already, this budget disc is a fair choice for those who still need to fill that gap in their collections.

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