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Rossini, at the moment when he decided to retire and to compose no more operas, Guillaume Tell being his last, was immensely popular with his audiences. This was clearly due to his operas, although some measure of it was certainly earned by their overtures to these operas, for they had rapidly entered the symphonic repertoire. Even today, the greatest conductors and orchestras cannot resist the pleasure of performing this music, in which a unique sense of humour is combined with a taste for virtuosity for its own sake. Opera overtures by many composers were performed in concerts at the end of the 18th century, although Rossini’s overtures also benefited from being transcribed for wind ensemble; these transcriptions were made by William Legrand and Wenzl Sedlak during Rossini’s lifetime.