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Rossini: Six Sonatas for Strings ()

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Rossini is doubtless remembered primarily for his important role as an opera composer, but like other composers who occasionally dabbled in genres outside their primary focus, Rossini sometimes left the opera realm. This Apex album features his Six String Sonatas, indisputable works of youth and immaturity. Just how young and inexperienced Rossini was at the time of their composition is a matter of debate, though Rossini himself claimed that he was only 12 years old when he wrote them. The six sonatas are scored for an unusual combination of string instruments: two violins, cello, and double bass. Even with a fuller string orchestra playing, as is heard here with I Solisti Veneti, the lack of a viola reveals a startling absence of a middle voice to these pieces. Rossini's focus was clearly melody; harmony is markedly underdeveloped, if not altogether absent in some areas. At best, the Six Sonatas could be considered charming, offering listeners very little substance. The performance given by I Solisti... Hide synopsis

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