Prague Sinfonia Orchestra/Benda
Rossini Overtures, Vol 3
As it reaches Volume 3, the brilliant Naxos series of complete Rossini Overtures is increasingly acclaimed and seems now unstoppable in its march towards being not only the finest collection of Rossini overtures available, but actually indispensible to those who love this exhilarating music. Purists, intellectual elitists and snobs sometimes deride Rossini as the composer who couldn't write counterpoint (or was too lazy to do so) and who had about two good musical ideas (crescendo and accumulation) out of which he made a career. I find Rossini's Overtures a life force in their vivacity and breathtaking sense of elan, wonderfully captured and projected on this latest volume by Christian Benda and his crisp, articulate Prague Sinfonia Orchestra. More favourites are here, including The Italian Girl In Algiers, Cinderella and Tancredi, with some lesser known items and a fascinating student work, Grand'Overtura, where you can hear the seed elements of Rossini's later music at work. Absolutely sparkling.