GIOACCHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868)
Sonata for strings (1804, '11)
Allegro -- Andante -- Moderato

Summer, vacation time. You rent a cottage in the country and take your family there "to get away from it all". Your 12 year old, getting a bit bored already on the second day, powers up the notebook computer, and before you know it, creates a computer game that challenges and entertains the participants, while giving much pleasure to the spectators. Ask for a copy of this program and keep the diskette in a safe place - you never know.

After the Second World War, Alfredo Casella found in the Library of Congress a 150-year-old manuscript with this inscription: "The scores of these dreadful sonatas, composed by me on holiday at the home (near Ravenna) of my friend Agostino Triossi when I was at a most infantile age, not even having taken a lesson in counterpoint, the whole composed and copied out in three days and played like dogs by Triossi, double bass, Morini (his cousin), first violin, the latter's brother, cello, and myself on second violin, who was, to tell the truth, the least doggish." The ease and generosity with which the melodic material unfolds in these sonatas suggests that 12-year-old Rossini did not have to overly exert himself to produce these marvels. A smile is never more than a few seconds away, and there is an unmistakable presence of operatic elements, giving hint of what would one day blossom into magnificent stage works.

Today these sonatas are extremely popular both on stage and in the recording studio, performed mainly in string orchestra version. The recording of an integral set of Six Sonatas for Strings is Chamber Orchestra KREMLIN's most celebrated disc to date, having won both the Repertoire and Diapason d"Or awards in Paris and Gramophone's Critics Choice award in London.