Spotlighting Two Leap Year Artists

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Thursday, March 01, 2012

This week's broadcast spotlights two artists from vastly different historical periods born on a leap year: Giacomo Rossini and soprano Reri Grist. Thomas Schippers conducts the former's Stabat Mater from a 1965 recording, while Leonard Bernstein leads Ms. Grist in Mahler's Fourth Symphony.

Rossini: Stabat Mater (recorded 1965)
Mahler: Symphony No 4 in G Major (recorded 1960)
Conductors: Thomas Schippers; Leonard Bernstein

Martina Arroyo, soprano
Beverly Wolff, mezzo-soprano
Tito del Bianco, tenor
Justino Diaz, bass
The Camerata Singers, Abraham Kaplan, director
Reri Grist, soprano

Comments [2]

Dr. Stephen Schoeman

Rossini is one of the greatest classical and opera composers but he is not given the credit his genius deserves.
What other composer, not even Verdi or Puccini, could compose such magnificent opera buffa as The Barber of Seville and The Italian in Algiers and also compose such magnificent tragedies as William Tell and Semiramide?
And extraordinarily spiritual music as his Stabat Mater and La Petite Solenelle? And the wonderful "Songs Of My Old Age" and wonderful compositions for clarinet and other instruments?
He has been called "the Italian Mozart" for good measure because like Mozart he could turn out astounding melodies by the many dozen.
How unfortunate that the general public knows Rossini, if they know him at all, because of The Barber of Seville and the William Tell Overture! Great music to be sure but just a fraction of his enormous creative output.
Why his Mose and his Tancredi and his Zelmirare rarely performed is beyond me. Or his monumental William Tell the opera.
The opera world should not be just about La Boheme and Carmen, of course great masterpieces, but about
the full range of a Rossini or a Meyerbeer or even, yes, a Verdi.
It is that conductors and their boards of trustees and the marketing staff believe that the only way to
bring in an audience is to perform well known works like La Traviata yet another masterpiece.
How sad that great compositions on which great composers worked so hard are relegated to the dust heap
of operatic history save for that brave music scholar and conductor willing to put on such works.
Here is Stabat Mater by Rossini, the same composer who wrote The Barber of Seville. This should bring pause to anyone who doubts the versatility and flexibility of Rossini.
I shall, of course, continue to listen to La Boheme and Aida and Carmen and Tosca and Don Giovanni but I shall also continue to explore the less known or forgotten works of the masters. And even of those composers who were not at the top of their field.
If there be a central theme to our modern age it is the vast exploration, the search for new horizons. In this regard, such should be our mission as an audience, as conductors, as performers, as orchestra and opera
boards of trustees.
I rest my case for Monsieur Rossini.

Stephen Schoeman, Ph. D.
Political Scientist
Attorney-at-Law (retired)
Amateur clarinetist

Mar. 01 2012 10:15 PM
Peter Feldman from New York City

I am delighted to hear so much wonderful music composed by Gioachino Rossini this week.

Mar. 01 2012 10:00 PM

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