Anima Eterna olv Giovanni Antonini
't Zand 34, 8000 Brugge, België
Is combining Italian and Viennese music a crazy idea? It certainly wasn’t during the Viennese periods of Beethoven and Schubert: Rossini was a celebrated theatre composer in Vienna, and the Viennese masters were continually visiting the theatres. Schubert even wrote overtures in the “Italian style”, and this clearly meant à la Rossini. The Overture to the opera “L’Italiana in Algeri” is one of the roguish (at least in the original version played tonight), with a remarkable find: a bassoon and ottavino (piccolo) playing the same melody three octaves apart (at least in the original version; later it was thought that this was a mistake and the ottavino part was given to a flute, because after all, this was serious music!)!
The Symphony by Schubert is in c minor. In his time, the writer and composer Schubart said that the key of c minor “ist Liebeserklärung und zugleich Klage der unglücklichen Liebe”. Is this why Schubert added “Tragische” in his autograph score? In the fourth movement, however, we are confronted with a sense of drive worthy of Rossini. And in between Rossini and Schubert: Beethoven’s Second Symphony, which Berlioz called a true masterpiece, music sprinkled with eternal smiles. Could Beethoven be happy? Certainly! Thus, an Italiana in Algeri, and an Italiano in Bruges? Absolutely, he has and understands the “anima eterna”!