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Beltà crudele 'Amori scendete'

First line:
Amori scendete propizii al mio core
author of text

Schubert would have known Rossini’s name from about 1816, although his first experience of a Rossini opera is likely to have been Tancredi in 1817. He was so delighted with this new kind of music that he wrote two overtures ‘in the Italian style’ (D591 and D592); one can also see traces of the Italian composer in the sixth symphony (D589), Die Zwillingsbrüder, D647, and in the finales to the acts of Alfonso und Estrella, D732. Schubert was delighted with Il Barbiere di Seviglia and thought that Otello was a greater piece than Tancredi. As he said to Hüttenbrenner: ‘You can’t deny the man his extraordinary genius … the instrumentation is highly original, as is sometimes the vocal line.’ By 1822 the Rossini craze was no longer such fun: it had come to threaten the chances of Schubert’s own theatrical compositions; the publishing market was flooded with arrangements of the latest hits, and even the concert life of the city was dominated by Rossini. In the evening concerts of the Musikverein alone there were excerpts performed from some twenty Rossini operas, and Schubert was present at many of these occasions. In the Schubert songs Rossini’s influence is to be heard in such a parody as Epistel „An Herrn Josef von Spaun“, D749 (with a touch of the malign that dissolves into frank delight), and in the three adorable Op 83 Italian songs (Marschner’s criticism of them is preposterous) written for Lablache, the Drei Gesänge, D902.

This Rossini song, composed in 1821, is one of his few with voice and piano written in Schubert’s lifetime. Rossini’s interest in this medium awakened only in the later, Parisian, years of his career with the so-called Péchés de vieillesse.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2006


Schubert: The Complete Songs
CDS44201/40Boxed set + book (at a special price) — Download only
Songs by Schubert's friends and contemporaries
CDJ33051/33CDs Last few CD copies remaining


Track 2 on CDJ33051/3 CD3 [3'32] 3CDs Last few CD copies remaining
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