Yesterday, I played on a concert of opera favorites with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and the excellent soprano Sarah Coburn. The program included the famous Rossini overture to “The Barber of Seville,” which frankly is hard for me to get through without giggling – I can only think of Bugs Bunny torturing Elmer Fudd – “Ehhhhhhhh – next!”

Besides being the soundtrack for perhaps the greatest cartoon of all time, the overture features the famous “Rossini crescendo” (aka “Rossini rocket”), where a passage is repeated several times with new voices joining each time, until the orchestra is playing full blast.

From Ravel’s Bolero to Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” the gradual buildup is one of the most powerful forces in music, and it’s the subject of today’s playlist. Bach, The Who, John Philip Sousa and King Curtis are among the artists on the list – please add some more of your own! What’s your favorite buildup?

Till Wednesday,




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