Making a Musical Difference

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William Tell Overture

Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868)

The English horn sample performed is from the solo fromsecond movement of this selection.

This is the last opera Rossini composed at age 36, although he lived to be seventy-six. Up until that time he had written thirty-seven operas, during his remaining years he continued to compose orchestral and some vocal music. This opera premiered in 1829, the composition has been called “a complete symphonic poem in miniature”. The Overture to the William Tell Operain its first section is reflective of a sunrise and mountains depicted by cellos and basses. The second section of this overture depicts a gathering fury of an Alpine storm, and, as it subsides, an Andante comes through with the shepherds’ thanksgiving – the 41 measure the beautiful English horn solo. Eventually, the trumpet announces the approach of Swiss soldiers with the fullorchestra finishing with a bright and rapid pace to the end of the overture.

The William Tell Opera is founded on the well-known story ofTell and his endeavors to relieve his countrymen, the Swiss, from Austriandomination. “Tell” was written for the Grand Opera in Paris,where it was first produced in August 1829.

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