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An epic Italian poem from the 16th century has inspired more classical music than any other work of literature. Here are a few of the best.
Etienne Méhul, born in 1763, was possibly the first composer to be called Romantic with a capital R: he was certainly an important opera composer in France – between 1790 and 1822 he wrote more than 30 of them. His ‘Ariodant’ is based on the same episode in ‘Orlando Furioso’ that also inspired Handel's ‘Ariodante’. The work had a profound influence on the development of Romantic opera, particularly in Germany.
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