Rossini: The Thieving Magpie in German / Schwaiger, Meijer, Peter, Santi, Bern Radio Orchestra
Thanks to its overture, La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie) is one of Rossini’s best-known operas. In the19th century it was one of the composer’s most performed works. And yet for decades after 1883, it was not performed. It was only in the 1930s that interest in this opera was awoken once again. Rossini’s 150th birthday in 1942 led Riccardo Zandonai, then Director of the Music Conservatory in Pesaro, Rossini's birthplace, to take on this opera and edit it. His tasks were essentially to shorten a very long opera and to split the content over three, rather than two, acts.
La gazza ladra or, in this recording, Die diebische Elster is principally a crime story. The subject matter of the opera is a robbery that may have actually taken place in France. We might have doubts about this because the theme of the innocent, accused, condemned, and possibly executed serving girl is so widely known that it can almost be taken for an urban myth. It is not, however, simply about crime. The opera portrays specific details of pre-trial and court proceedings correctly and in exact detail. This makes the original title "Avviso ai giudici” (Judges Take Note) even clearer. Thanks to its timely references and precise libretto, this opera is by far more realistic than other operas from the pen of this composer.
Release Date: April 15, 2022
Catalog Number: CR1929
Number of Discs: 2
Composer: Gioachino Rossini
Conductor: Nello Santi
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bern Radio Orchestra