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Gioacchino Rossini
(1792-1868)


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Give me a laundry list and I will set it to music.
-- Rossini, attributed

Thou knowest, O Lord, as well as I, that really I am only a composer of opera buffa.
-- Rossini, dedication to Petite Messe solennelle (1864)

Rossini, in music, is the genius of sheer animal spirits. It is a species as inferior to that of Mozart, as the cleverness of a smart boy is to that of a man of sentiment; but it is genius nevertheless.
-- Leigh Hunt, Going to the Play Again (1828)

The first characteristic of Rossini's music is speed -- a speed which removes from the soul all the sombre emotions that are so powerfully evoked within us by the slow strains in Mozart. I find also in Rossini a cool freshness, which, measure by measure, makes us smile with delight.
-- Stendahl (1783-1842), Life of Rossini (1824)

The point is... a person feels good listening to Rossini. All you feel like listening to Beethoven is going out and invading Poland. Ode to Joy indeed. The man didn't even have a sense of humor. I tell you... there is more of the Sublime in the snare-drum part of the La Gazza Ladra than in the whole Ninth Symphony.
-- Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow (1973)

Rossini would have been a great composer if his teacher had spanked him enough on his backside.
-- Ludwig van Beethoven


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