Tune of the Day: The Thieving Magpie
When do you write the overture to your opera? According to Italian composer Gioachino Rossini, you should wait for inspiration until the evening before the opening night, because “nothing primes inspiration more than necessity”. Fortunately for him, Rossini was famous for his writing speed. His opera La gazza ladra (literally, The Thieving Magpie) was no exception. It was reported that the producer had to lock Rossini in a room the day before the first performance in order to write the overture. Rossini then threw each sheet out of the window to his copyists, who wrote out the full orchestral parts.
This overture makes a few appearances in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, and has also provided the background score for many television and radio commercials. It also appears during the famous baby-switching scene in Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America.