On March 29th, the Anchorage Civic Orchestra's winter concert will open with Gioachino Rossini's overture to his 1817 opera, La Gazza Ladra. It is one of the composer's greatest orchestral works. Opening with a slow, yet brilliant march, it features percussion, especially the snare drum that opens the piece with three drum rolls.
The march gives way to a delightful, almost spritely allegro in triple time that features a couple of Rossini's signature long, dramatically building crescendos from incredibly soft to absolutely, stunningly loud.
Rehearsing the overture has been a lot of fun so far, as the ensemble seems thrilled by the way the music seems to drive itself, without the conductor having to be too obtrusive. They can almost play it by themselves already.
Here is Gustavo Dudamel, directing the Los Angeles Philharmonic in this masterpiece: