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Petite Messe Solenelle

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Gioachino Rossini (born Pesaro, 29 February 1792; died Paris, 13 November 1868)





First performance of original version: Paris (domestic), 14 March 1864.

First performance of orchestral version: Paris (Salle Ventadour, Théâtre-Italien), 24 February 1869.

First performance in UK: tbc.

First performance in Scotland: tbc.



Rossini's final work, and the last of his péchés de vieillesse ('sins of old age') is, despite the title, neither little nor solemn.  It is a thoroughly charming piece, full of melody.  These 'sins' occupied him sporadically from the completion of his last opera Guillaume Tell in 1829 until his death.  They consist mainly of charming songs, but there are two important religious works, the first being his Stabat Mater.

The original version of this Mass, dedicated to Louise, Countess of Pillet-Will, was probably commissioned by her husband, and first performed at their new Parisian home.  The accompaniment is for two pianos and harmonium.  Rossini only completed an orchestration because he assumed someone else would otherwise do so, and this was only performed after his death.

The Cast


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