program notes by composition > S > Semiramide Overture

Semiramide Overture

Gioacchino Antonio Rossini/arr. by V.F. Safranek

Semiramide Overture is part of an opera first produced in 1823 based on the the legend of the evil Babylonian queen Semiramis. The overture opens with an extended slow introduction. The horns and woodwinds play a lyrical hymnlike melody -- a chorus of praise for the queen heard in the first act. The opening flourishes return, announcing the beginning of the main Allegro portion which is taken from the orchestral introduction to the opera's tragic final scene at the tomb of King Nino -- a tragedy that is belied by the happy, bouncy nature of this theme.

Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) was born in Italy. He wrote and produced operas in the larger European centers until, at age 37, he suddenly and mysteriously ceased. He spent the rest of his life teaching and composing in Italy and in France, where he remained as the witty leader of the artistic world.

Last updated on April 4, 2012 by Palatine Concert Band