Maometto II (‘Mahomet II’)
- Richard Osborne
Dramma in two acts by Gioachino Rossini to a libretto by Cesare della Valle after his Anna Erizo; Naples, Teatro S Carlo, 3 December 1820.
Maometto II, later revised by Rossini as le Siège de corinthe (1826, Paris), is his penultimate Neapolitan opera and one of his grandest pieces of musical architecture, the two 90-minute acts built from a handful of huge interlocking musical units. It is one of Rossini’s most powerfully scored works, with a large brass contingent used to darken textures and add a declamatory element to much of the writing; equally, Rossini appears to have lavished particular care on the accompanied recitatives, particularly in Act 2 where one of the most striking moments – Anna’s consecration of her soul to her mother’s spirit before Mahomet’s fateful entry – is expressed in recitative....