For the first time on Melodiya: Musical Gastronomy by Gioachino Rossini
Firma Melodiya releases a CD of piano miniatures from the collection Sins of My Old Age composed by the creator of The Barber of Seville in the last decades of his life, in the time of his mysterious withdrawal. Pianist Alexey Skanavi selected pieces with “gastronomic” names that reflected the old maestro’s culinary interests.
It’s no secret that Rossini possessed other talents apart from the musical one – his recipes with exquisite ingredients are still a bait for aesthetiсizing gourmets. After the premiere of William Tell (1829), he seemed to give himself up to the art of culinary, treating guests at his dinner parties with new dishes and sauces. Discovered after the composer’s passing and containing over 150 pieces (mainly vocal and piano miniatures), his collection Sins of My Old Age came as a real surprise!
Alexey Skanavi, a pianist, composer, researcher musicologist and music journalist, recorded all the “gastronomic” pieces from this utterly peculiar collection. The album features the mini-cycle Four Mendiants and Four Appetizers (“mendiants” means chocolate discs with dried fruit, a traditional Christmas dish of French monks) next to the pieces from the Album for Adolescent Children – “Ouf! Les Petits Pois,” “Un Sauté,” and “Hachis Romantique” that are witty parodies of the performing clichés of the then “latest” piano techniques, inventive methods of sound production, and playful “curtsies” towards the contemporaries Liszt and Chopin.