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William Tell Overture:

William Tell Overture:

William Tell Overture:

www.connollymusic.com)Rossini didn't write the overture until the last minute. The premiere of the opera was approaching, and he needed something. So he dug into his past works. There he found an opera he'd written 14 years earlier, "Elizabeth, Queen of England." He recycled parts of it into “The William Tell Overture.” He went back to this work again and reworked Elizabeth’s first aria as Una voce poco fa from “The Barber of Seville.” (Source:

ACT ONE: The action takes place in medieval Switzerland at a time when much of the country is controlled by Austria. William Tell is a respected Swiss patriot, opposed to Austrian rule. The opera begins on the shores of Lake Lucerne, where a triple wedding celebration is underway. The people in this part of the country are beginning to resist the Austrian occupation, and Rossini's music includes choral and ballet numbers that emphasize the importance of Swiss culture and traditions. (Source: www.npr.org)

Rossini didn't write the overture until the last minute. The premiere of the opera was approaching, and he needed something. So he dug into his past works. There he found an opera he'd written 14 years earlier, "Elizabeth, Queen of England." He recycled parts of it into “The William Tell Overture.” He went back to this work again and reworked Elizabeth’s first aria as Una voce poco fa from “The Barber of Seville.” (Source: www.connollymusic.com)

Comparing the William Tell Overture and the Overture 1812 The William Tell Overture ("WTO") became well known to the general public when it was used as the theme song for The Lone Ranger, a popular western that entertained millions first as a radio serial, then a television program. WTO was composed by Gioachino Rossini as the instrumental introduction to the opera titled Guillaume Tell. The last of Rossini's thirty-nine operas, it debuted in 1829 towards the beginning of what is considered the Romantic Period in musical history. WTO (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4PS8-_5UFw) begins as a pastoral piece, with flutes, clarinets and oboes taking turns with the melody, embellished by trills. A triangle provides an almost imperceptible ringing, reminiscent of dew shimmering on grass. Suddenly, at about 2:40, the orchestra erupts with the familiar "Lone Ranger" theme. Brass, woodwinds, strings and percussion convey a sense of drama and urgency. At about four minutes, the strings carry the melody and the volume drops, building again within the next minute as all instruments of the orchestra contribute to the sound and excitement. The piece continues to building in volume and tempo until its conclusion. It is very similar in this way to the Overture 1812, creating a military mood with tempo, rhythms and instrumentation. The Overture 1812 ("1812") was composed in 1880 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the most famous of all Russian composers and perhaps best-loved for his ballet (Source: www.bartleby.com)

Indeed, one of the most remarkable qualities of both these passages and their enduring popularity is how they're associated with a state of mind or atmosphere, even more than being known as part of the larger work itself. Use either passage and the audience is taken immediately to the state intended regardless of whether they’ve ever heard of William Tell or his overture. So much so, they’ve each been called a “musical cliché.” (Source: www.connollymusic.com)

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