Hyperion Records

Variations on 'Non pi¨ mesta' from Rossini's La Cenerentola, Op 60
composer
composer
1817; originally composed for The Barber of Seville, 1816

Recordings
'Herz: Piano Music' (CDA67606)
Herz: Piano Music
Details
Track 2 on CDA67606 [9'56]

Variations on 'Non pi¨ mesta' from Rossini's La Cenerentola, Op 60
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The Variations on ‘Non più mesta’ from Rossini’s La Cenerentola Op 60 is Herz’s best-known work. Sometimes known as the Rondo Aria, ‘Non più mesta’ (‘No longer sad beside the fire’) is the pyrotechnical aria sung by the eponymous heroine at the end of Rossini’s opera, premiered in 1817. Rossini had composed the tune a year earlier for Count Almaviva’s final aria, ‘Ah! il più lieto, il più felice’ (‘Ah! of all loving hearts mine is the happiest’), in The Barber of Seville, a number that is generally omitted from productions nowadays.

Several composers were attracted to this show-stopper, including Chopin (his flaccid variations for flute and piano were written at the age of fourteen), Franz Hünten, Diabelli and Burgmüller, but Herz’s response is surely the finest, as witty and agile as the original. The introduction, theme, six variations and finale remain resolutely in C major while Herz throws all manner of digital challenges at the performer, including left-hand skips of tenths and twelfths, rapid scales and repeated notes for the right hand, broken octaves and, in Variation 5, a dolcissimo quasi glissando in thirds.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas ę 2008

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