Rossini's Overtures are absolute jewels of the Classical period. He used them as his musical "calling cards," and with the exception of William Tell, there's absolutely no relationship between the overture and opera it introduces. The famous Barber of Seville overture, for example, was used previously for two tragic operas, including one called Elizabeth, Queen of England! All they were supposed to do was entertain the audience and let them know that the real business was about to begin. And that's just what they've been doing ever since. This comprehensive collection, at two discs for the price of one, will keep you in Rossini for a good, long time. --David Hurwitz --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.