Thursday, February 3


As for the adoration of Rossini, which had recently become the latest thing for fashionable Parisians, it made me furious. My anger was increased by the entire manner of the new movement, which was totally in opposition to that of Gluck and Spontini. I could imagine nothing more exquisitely beautiful and genuine than the compositions of these great masters. In contrast, Rossini's cynical approach to melody, his contempt for dramatic expression and good sense, his interminable repetition of one kind of cadence, his endless childish crescendo and crude bass drum, irritated me so much that I was blinded to the brilliant aspects of his genius, even in his exquisitely scored masterpiece, The Barber of Seville. I frequently agonized over the possibility of putting a mine under the Théâtre-Italien and blowing it up, together with its assembly of Rossinians ... I entirely agree with Ingres when he describes certain of Rossini's works as "the music of a charlatan."

-- Hector Belioz Memoirs