The Thieving Magpie, Overture for flute quintet
The overture to “La gazza ladra” is a very popular, festive piece of music in our time, even though the whole opera by Rossini is hardly ever performed. The first part is a festive march – the original opens with drum rolls of the High Court, performed from both sides of the stage. However, this arrangement features an introduction of a twittering water-filled bird whistle. As the whole piece deals with the clever magpie’s quicksilver energy, musical birdlike sounds are very appropriate. If whistles are not available, flute trills will be effective, or perhaps performers will pursue something else with triangles or other brilliant possibilities! The second section is an elegant Italian style waltz, including the well-known piccolo solo.