Semiramide brought Rossini's Italian career to a spectacular close in 1823. Its key scenes have great musical and dramatic impact, and in its expansive dimensions he attains masterful heights. Yet Semiramide remains true to neoclassical archetypes of style and form, with its preponderance of arias and duets. Proving gratifying to generations of fine singers, it was one of Rossini's last opere serie to disappear from the repertory and the first to be revived. Today it remains his most frequently performed Italian heroic opera. This critical edition is based on the autograph score, including the spartitino (for the wind and percussion instruments in large ensembles) recently discovered in the archives of Venice's La Fenice. More than a dozen contemporary manuscript copies and numerous early printed vocal scores were also consulted. An appendix includes Gossett's edition of Rossini's sketches for several numbers. Following the main score in three volumes, a fourth volume provides the original realization for the on-stage band.
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