Having brought down the curtain on his career in the theatre with his last opera William Tell, written in 1829, Rossini turned to writing a sizeable amount of salon music for the piano. Written over a period of ten years, the thirteen volumes that make up his Péchés de vieillesse (Sins of Old Age) include titles such as Ah! The Peas, My Morning Hygienic Prelude and the Anti-Dancing Waltz. Never far from the surface, the wit and sparkle of Rossini's miniatures are beautifully captured by Alessandro Marangoni, whose project to record the complete works now reaches Volume 6.
“This is one of the more ironic volumes in the series, which includes some of Rossini’s best loved sets from the Péchés de vieillesse that take food as their theme. Rossini is the master chef in his musical kitchen, combining nibbles, comedy, virtuosity, love of life and a ready smile!” - Alessandro Marangoni.
Rossini’s operas have remained amongst the most popular in the repertoire but over the last decade of his life he turned largely to piano music. The Péchés de vieillesse (Sins of Old Age) occupy thirteen volumes, and the deliciously informal and comic fourth is called Quatre hors d’oeuvres et quatre mendiants. Its theme is food, and Rossini lavishes all his abundant abilities of characterisation in his descriptive passages, not least the introduction of a parakeet.
Listen to an excerpt from track 3, Les raisins: A ma petite perruche (Grapes for my Little Budgie)
“Naxos and the distinguished, award-winner pianist Alessandro Marangoni, deserve to be congratulated for the decision to record the complete Péchés. The present set occupies two CDs and each is a delight from beginning to end.” - MusicWeb International
“...humor, pianistic ingenuity, and unexpected harmonic zingers. The pieces are trickier to play than they sound, and make the most impact with a pianist who understands their character and can “ham them up” without being vulgar.” - ClassicsToday.com
“...richly textured variety, filled with clever little quotations from other composers. Rossini writes with all the craft of Schubert, the singing quality of Chopin and the bravura of Liszt—but in miniature.” - Musical Toronto
About the Artist
Born in Italy in 1979, Alessandro Marangoni has appeared throughout Europe, America and China as a soloist and as a chamber musician, collaborating with some of Italy’s leading performers. He is a member of the Trio Albatros Ensemble, and in 2007 recorded the piano works of Victor de Sabata for the fortieth anniversary of the latter’s death, playing in a recital at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan with Daniel Barenboim. In 2007 he won the prestigious Amici di Milano International Prize for Music. He teaches piano and chamber music in master-classes in Europe and South America.