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Program Notes

Nabucco

Overture (1842)

Giuseppe Verdi, composer

Nabucco, an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi, was given its premier performance at La Scala in Milan on March 9, 1842. Its success proclaimed a new hero of the Italian opera, placing Verdi in the company of the masters—Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti. Verdi went on to compose such great operas as Aida, Rigoletto, and La Traviata. Melodies in this overture depict Verdi’s affinity for fleeting tunes that seem to leave an indelible impression on the listener. The crescendo employed here, which builds over lengthy spaces, became known as the "Rossini’s Crescendo" and was a popular device of opera composers of the period.

WGM

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