Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Great Rossini Story

"He was a strange fellow. He manufactured some brandies, gave a few music lessons, and in that way made ends meet. He never owned a bed--he slept standing up . . . . At night he wrapped himself in his cloak, and slept thus in a corner of any arcade. The nightwatchman knew him and didn't disturb him. Then, at the crack of dawn, he would come to me, pull me out of bed--which I didn't like at all--and then I had to play for him. Sometimes when he hadn't rested enough, he'd go to sleep standing up again while I was working at the spinet. I'd take advantage of that in order to crawl back into bed. On waking up again, he'd look for me there and would be gratified by my assurances that while he had been asleep I had played my pieces without mistakes."
Gioccino Rossini's description to Ferdinand Hiller of his early studies in Bologna with Guiseppi Prinetti.

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