- Featured: Ivan Sokolnikov
- Release Date: 10/6/2008
Rossini\'s Semiramide Overture is an ambitious work with an unusually large opera orchestra. The score calls for a loud brass section of 4 horns, 2 trombones 2 trumpets and a bass horn. The woodwinds are augmented with a piccolo. There is tympani and even a bass drum. The subject of the libretto is tragic so the opera is classed as opera seria. The text is serious but what about the music? Rossini\'s writing here may be darker than in his comic operas, but however long and heavy the overture, still the effect is more light than dark. Nowhere is the overture as serious as Beethoven. Beethoven is at his lightest in the 1st and 8th symphonies. Still he is more serious there than the Rossini overture. Beethoven at his lightest is still more serious than Rossini at his darkest. The prominence of the piccolo part leads one to believe that Rossini\'s opera-house orchestra must have included a virtuoso piccolo player. Cyberchambermusic began work on Semiramide in the summer of 2002. Progress was slow. The score is difficult to sequence. Also the density of the orchestration taxed the computer processors to crashing exhaustion. This project caused us to abandon Windows and convert to a Power Mac G5 dual-processor for recording. Now the project is complete after 6 years. *** At the time maestro Ivan Sokolnikov joined cyberchambermusic, we were ready to publish Beethoven\'s Eighth Symphony, the 3rd movement. Maestro wanted to wait and redo it. But, alas, we could not find our midi file. So we published it as is. Then the midi file turned up on an obscure disk. Maestro redid it. So the version here is number 2. *** Cyberchambermusic regards Prokofiev\'s 1st Piano Concerto as his most beautiful music. Also his 1st violin concerto. These youthful works were never equaled or surpassed. Of course, a concerto gives the soloist a means to display his skill. But this movement is less a concerto than a wonderful orchestral piece where one of the instruments happens to be a piano. *** The 3rd movement of Mendelssohn\'s \'Reformation\' Symphony is a thrilling piece. Somehow, there is an Italian flavor. More so though, there is the wonderfully evanescent, frothy quality as in his incidental music to \'A Midsummer Night\'s Dream\'.