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Il Barbiere di Siviglia

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Gioacchino Rossini

Gioacchino Rossini (arr. Franco Cesarini)


This work may be found under its title in English, "The Barber of Seville."


General Info

Year: 1816 / 2011
Duration: c. 7:20
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Mitropa Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - €130.00   |   Score Only (print) - €26.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass
Timpani
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

The original overture was lost after the premiere; therefore, Rossini, who had no reluctance in using music composed for other different contexts, used an older Overture. The music of the Overture to II Barbiere di Siviglia was first used for Aureliano in Palmira, and later in Elisabetta, Regina d’Inghilterra.

This piece follows the structure of the typical Rossini overtures: a slow introduction, an allegro main section with two themes repeated, and a closing cadence. Following each statement of the lyrical second theme one must listen for the famous Rossini crescendo. Not just an increase in volume, this crescendo includes a build-up of orchestral forces, upward movement of pitch, increase in articulation, and increasingly rapid rhythmic patterns.

- Program Note from Banda Santa Cecilia Besana e Triuggio concert program, 21 December 2018


It is true that one of the world’s best known overtures was not originally written for the opera that it introduces. Rossini originally staged the opera under a different title in order to avoid confusion with a better known version of the Barber of Seville. During a revival a year later under its current title, Rossini reused the overture from his opera Aurelia in Palmyra for The Barber of Seville. Since Rossini did not use themes from the opera in his overtures, reusing material provided saving of time and effort for Rossini. Nonetheless, the Barber of Seville Overture dramatically sets the mood for an opera that Rossini described as ”the most beautiful opera buffa there is.”

- Program Notes from Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music


The Barber of Seville is based on the first of Beaumarchais‘ (1732- 1799) two sequential plays, The Marriage of Figaro being the second, although unusually the overture does not contain any themes from the ensuing opera. The music, however, is sparkling and tuneful encompassing the ‘spirit‘ of the story that is about to unfold. The overture follows the form of the classic Italian style, with a slow introduction followed by a brilliant Allegro. Of course, the famous crescendo, so typical of Rossini’s works, is also present.

- Program Note by publisher


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


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