Rossini was a musical genious, a bon vivant, and last but not least, a true gourmet. And so I thought that it would be a good idea to give the eighth and last CD in this series a pronounced culinary atmosphere. We open with Quatre Hors d’Oeuvres (Four appetizers), four musical odes devoted in succession to Les Radis (Radishes), Les Anchois (Anchovies), Les Cornichons (Pickles) and Le Beurre (Butter). Then we abandon the table and proceed to the Prlude for piano solo from Musique Anodine (Blameless Music). Musique Anodine consists of the Prlude and the six following songs for voice and piano. The group is dedicated to Rossini’s wife in thanks for her support after a long illness. Anodine, in this case, could also be understood as ‘soothing’. Then come some calisthenics for singers in the form of Ritournelle Gothique (Gothic Refrain) Encore un peu de Blague (A little more Silliness), and Tourniquet sur la Gamme Chromatique, Ascendante et Descendante (Chromatic Merry-go-round, Rising and Falling). Rossini, in fact, dedicated this last piece to his friend Auguste Panseron, composer and singing teacher at the Paris Conservatory. After this harmonic exercise, we celebrate enthusiastically in Une Rjouissance (a Party), we take a gondola ride in Canzonetta: la Venitienne (Venetian song), and take a walk through all the different keys in (the environs of) Paris in Petite Promenade de Passy Courbevoie (A little walk from Passy to Courbevoie). At last we go back to the table to be served a dessert consisting of Quatre Mendiants (Four Mendicant Orders). This somewhat austere dessert, still served nowadays, consists of four ingredients, each of which represents a religious order because of its color which is like that of the respective order’s habit. Les Figues Sches (dried Figs) represent the Franciscans, Les Amandes (the Almonds) the Carmelites, Les Raisins (the Raisins) the Dominicans, and Les Noisettes (the Hazelnuts) the Augustines. In addition, a genuine French military song is featured in Les Raisins. Nevertheless, Rossini dedicated it to his little parakeet. Les Noisettes is dedicated to his beloved little dog Nini.Download booklet
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