Rossini: Semiramide Overture (2017 Side by Side)
Semiramide (Italian pronunciation: [semiˈraːmide]) is an opera in two acts by Gioachino Rossini. The libretto by Gaetano Rossi is based on Voltaire's tragedy Semiramis, which in turn was based on the legend of Semiramis of Assyria. The opera was first performed at La Fenice in Venice on 3 February 1823. Semiramide was Rossini's final Italian opera and according to Richard Osborne, "could well be dubbed Tancredi Revisited". As in Tancredi, Rossi's libretto was based on a Voltaire tragedy. The music took the form of a return to vocal traditions of Rossini's youth, and was a melodrama in which he "recreated the baroque tradition of decorative singing with unparalleled skill". The ensemble-scenes (particularly the duos between Arsace and Semiramide) and choruses are of a high order, as is the orchestral writing, which makes full use of a large pit. After this splendid work, one of his finest in the genre, Rossini turned his back on Italy and moved to Paris. Apart from Il viaggio a Reims, which is still in Italian, his last operas were either original compositions in French or extensively reworked adaptations into French of earlier Italian operas. Musicologist Rodolfo Celletti sums up the importance of Semiramide by stating: "(It) was the last opera of the great Baroque tradition: the most beautiful, the most imaginative, possibly the most complete; but also, irremediably, the last".
Zach Manzi is a first-year Clarinet Fellow at the New World Symphony. Mr. Manzi has enjoyed many recent performances with The Juilliard Orchestra and Wind Orchestra as well as new music groups AXIOM and the New Juilliard Ensemble in performance venues across New York City. He also participated twice in Juilliard's ChamberFest, a chamber music intensive occurring during winter recess, and gave the finale performance of the 2015 festival in Juilliard’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater. A passionate educator, he was one of 20 students to be awarded a Morse Teaching Artist Fellowship, with which he taught music in a New York City public school during the 2014-15 academic year. With two classes of third-graders in Manhattan, he explored the role and relevance of classical music in the 21st-century. As a student at the Aspen Music Festival and School, Mr. Manzi performed with four orchestras and the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, playing beside his influential teachers, Joaquin Valdepeñas, Burt Hara and Bil Jackson, in the Aspen Festival Orchestra and Chamber Symphony. He also spent a summer studying and performing at the Brevard Music Center Institute. At Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, where he spent the first two years of his undergraduate career, Mr. Manzi was awarded the Elliott and Ailsa Newman Prize in 2013, given to the most outstanding woodwind student in the school. As a first-year student, he won the Vanderbilt University Concerto Competition, making his solo orchestral debut with the Vanderbilt Orchestra performing Debussy’s Première Rhapsodie. He received his bachelor of music degree from The Juilliard School in 2015, where he studied with Jon Manasse. When away from the clarinet, he enjoys biking, cooking, writing, traveling and discovering new coffee shops.