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RossiniHis Life and Works$
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Richard Osborne

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195181296

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181296.001.0001

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Entr’ acte:

Entr’ acte:

Some Problems of Approach to the Works

Chapter:
(p.168) Chapter eighteen Entr’ acte:
Source:
Rossini
Author(s):

Richard Osborne

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181296.003.0018

The decline in the popularity of Gioachino Rossini’s operas, which Henry Chorley had noted as early as the 1840s, was followed after Rossini’s death by a decline in his overall reputation and in the care shown by musicians and critics for his work. Though the reputation of Il barbiere di Siviglia continued to soar, much else of quality was lost to the general public. One of the first to notice the change was Richard Wagner, whose own work had done much to bring about the new aesthetic priorities of the 1870s. The low point in the understanding of Rossini can be traced from the 1880s to the outbreak of the First World War. Fed on a diet of Victorian performances of the Stabat mater and pier-end renditions of the more popular overtures, George Bernard Shaw was able to declare that Rossini’ was “one of the greatest masters of claptrap that ever lived.”

Keywords:   Gioachino Rossini, opera, Henry Chorley, reputation, public, Richard Wagner, overtures, George Bernard Shaw

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