From our archives

22 February 2023
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159 years ago, on 14 March 1864, the Petite messe solennelle for soloists, choir, two pianos and harmonium was performed privately in the Paris palace of Countess Louise Pillett-Will, to whom the mass was dedicated. Rossini orchestrated it for large orchestra in 1867, but this version was not performed until 28 February 1869 after his death.

The composition has been performed several times in both versions at the ROF: in 1984 Svatopluk Janys conducted the original version, which was then performed again in 1987 by Riccardo Chailly and in 1997 by Arnold Bosman; in 1999 the orchestral version was performed for the first time, conducted by Daniele Gatti. In 2004 it was again the turn of the version for two pianos and harmonium, conducted by Michele Campanella, of which a CD was made. In 2007, Umberto Benedetti Michelangeli reproposed the orchestral version, two years later entrusted to the baton of Paolo Carignani. In 2014, Alberto Zedda orchestrated the Prélude religieux of the Mass, premiering it in Davide Daolmi's critical edition, then re-proposed in 2018 by Giacomo Sagripanti. La Petite messe solennelle will return to the ROF this summer, again in the orchestral version, with Michele Mariotti conducting the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, the Choir of the Teatro Ventidio Basso and a cast composed of Rosa Feola, Vasilisa Berzhanskaya, Dmitry Korchak and Giorgi Manoshvili.