BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Friday, June 21, 1822

Tonight, the Rossini Festival in Vienna adds to the mix of operas being performed La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie) at the K√§rntnertorheater, stirring emotions in favor of Rossini even higher. According to the report in the July 31 edition of the Leipzig Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung at col.510, “The fanatics rose again with stentorian shouting; the maestro had to appear right after the overture, and later he was again summoned to take a bow four or five times as popular pieces were performed. It was like an epidemic that no doctor could heal, because the patients in their exalted state were well pleased and were each obstinate that they would despise any means of being restored to sober prudence.”

From the July 6, 1822 Vienna Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung review by editor Friedrich August Kanne, cols. 425-429:

Kanne is pleased that this opera is presented in Italian rather than German, as sometimes occurs. He makes no mention of the tumult amongst the crowd, but greatly praises the singing of Sgr. Antonio Ambrogi as the Podest√†, and he considers himself particularly lucky to have heard Ambrogi in this role. [Ambrogi sang the role in the 1817 premiere of the opera as well.] “The great strength, flexibility and rich beauty of his tone will remain always an object of admiration.”

Fritz Reiner conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a performance of The Thieving Magpie Overture here:

Try to maintain sober prudence, please.

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