Rossini composed his opera based on the Cinderella story in 1817, one year after writing the Barber of Seville, at the age of 25. Rossini “borrowed” the music for this overture from one of his unperformed operas – standard practice at the time – and it works remarkably well in this context.

As with most Rossini overtures, it opens with a slow section in which one can almost imagine the scolding stepmother and the heroine scrubbing the floors. The following allegro is light and lively. It prominently features the winds (particularly the clarinet, his favorite instrument), as well as two versions of the famous long “Rossini crescendo” presaging a happy ending to the story.

Overture to "La Cenerentola", "Cinderella"
By Giaocchino Rossini

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