BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Wednesday, June 12, 1822

Beethoven’s former pupil Carl Czerny continues to please the public with his piano pieces based on Rossini operas. In today’s Wiener Zeitung, Cappi & Diabelli announces the publication of Czerny’s new opus 22, Rondino for piano solo on the Cavatina “Cara deh attendimi,” as sung by Mr. David, from the opera Zelmira.

Also new from Cappi & Diabelli today are three songs by Schubert, set for male vocal quartet(ttbb) with accompaniment by piano or guitar. These are Das Dörfchen, setting a text by Bürger (D.598); Die Nachtigall, by Unger (D.724); and Geist der Liebe, by Matthison (D.747). The first of these was written in 1817 and is only now published, but the other two are fairly new compositions.

Today’s Vienna Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung contains a lengthy review of the performances of Elisabetta by Rossini at the Kärntnertor Theatre. Editor Friedrich August Kanne particularly raves about Madame Rossini’s performance of the title role, displaying imposing calm and nobility, with the gradual development of great suffering. Unlike bad divas who wander left and right and back and forth, she makes no superfluous movement.

Kanne also makes note of Sgr. Nozzari and his artistic perfection as a thunderous baritone in Zelmira, and one can hardly believe it is the same singer here as portrayed Leicester in Elisabetta, constantly holding high notes in beautiful, pure intonation. His extensive scales, clever and artistic use of falsetto, and the effective action of his pompous speech are held out as great virtues.

Rossini wrote a completely new quartet in E-flat for this opera, which was characterized by its highly dramatic qualities. Sgras. Rossini, Mombelli, and Signr. David and Nozzari were described as “presenting it with great perfection. The voice leading is beautiful, and calls forth an aesthetic arrangement of ideas that is highly distinguished by a wonderful clarity and intensive interweaving. The effect was decisive and aroused great enthusiasm.”

Kanne was not, however, keen on Rossini’s reuse here of a familiar overture from another opera [not identified by him, but it was first used for Aureliano in Palmira, and then most famously as the overture to The Barber of Seville]. But he felt that it “made a surprisingly beautiful whole.”

AMZ June 12, 1822 col. 369-376.