Earlier reviewers don't seem to have picked up on the special flavor of this CD. Abbado presents Rossini's evergreen overtures with punch, extra speed, lean textures, and mercurial phrasing. This approach is clearly inspired by having a chamber orchestra at his disposal. I'm not sure this ensemble of young musicians is exactly virtuosic, as David Hurwitz claims. Enthusiastic might be a better term. If you want truly virtuosic Rossini, the classic Reiner album from Chicago is unbeatable (RCA), for humor and zest turn to Beecham (part of an EMI two-fer), for boisterousness Bernstein (Sony) or the early Abbado himself from London (RCA). Having said that, this sparklig colleciton is quite nice in its own right.