Premiere Preludes:
Celebrated Chamber Rossini

Concerts of music by composers whose operas open at the Teatr Wielki in the 2016/17 season


Gioachino Rossini: 
Sonata a quattro No. 3 in C major
Duet for cello and double bass in D major
Sonata a quattro No. 2 in A major
Sonata a quattro No. 6 in D major 

Gioachino Rossini: master of musical humour; creator of operatic hits loved and admired all around the globe. It is mainly to his operas – the perfect instances of bel canto – that he owes his fame, although he wrote the last one at the age of 36. For the following 39 years he lived a pleasant life, which included pursuing his passion for cooking. The only pieces he would write were intricate miniatures for piano, which he gave a characteristic, tongue-in-the-cheek title – Péchés de vieillesse, or Sins of Old Age (and which were featured in the programme of the Premiere Prelude preceding the opening of Guillaume Tell).   

On the eve of the premiere of Il turco in Italia at the Theatr Wielki – Polish National Opera we would like to treat our audience to Rossini’s exceptionally beautiful chamber pieces: Sonatas for string quartet and Duet for… cello and double bass. 

The sonatas come from the Sei sonate a quattro series and were written by Rossini at the age of… 12, while he stayed with friends for holidays. Duetto per violoncello e contrabasso was composed in 1824 – directly following Semiramide and preceding Il vaggio a Reims. The programme of the Prelude thus brings together works by a child prodigy and a mature composer who had grown slightly bored with his massive popularity, which he had taken rather lightly, just like his oeuvre. What he nevertheless composed were gems of chamber music and perfect embodiments of his style, full to the brim of sophisticated humour following from a quality that is rarely seen in artists: a distance to oneself and the world around – a world of pompous celebrities, artisans of great self-importance. 

Premiere Preludes is series of chamber concerts preceding opera premieres at Teatr Wieki’s Moniuszko Auditorium. Touching the subtle fabric of the highest standard of chamber music, both instrumental and vocal, sometimes contemplative, sometimes playful, they are an excellent introduction to the major premieres of the season. 

The Preludes are short, hour-long concerts, attracting music lovers and opera enthusiasts seeking a beautiful music experience and a better understanding of pieces written for the stage.



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  • Partners of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera

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