The Petite messe solennelle closes the 150th Anniversary ROF

21 August 2018

As the closing event of the Festival commemorating the 150th anniversary of Rossini’s death, his last composition, the Petite messe solennelle, will be performed at the Teatro Rossini on Thursday 23rd August at 9.00 p.m.  It will be performed in the version for soloists, chorus and orchestra.

The Mass will be conducted by Giacomo Sagripanti, with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai and the Chorus of the Teatro della Fortuna M. Agostini (Chorus Master Mirca Rosciani).  The four soloists are Carmela Remigio (soprano), Daniela Barcellona (mezzo-soprano), Celso Albelo (tenor) and Nicolas Courjal (bass).

Composed in 1863 for a group of twelve singers (four soloists who join their voices to a chorus consisting of eight singers), two pianos and a harmonium, the Petite messe solennelle was first performed on the 14th march 1864 at the home of the Countess Louise Pillet-Will, to whom it is dedicated.

“Here it is, finished at last, Good Lord, this poor little Mass”. – so wrote Rossini in the footnote at the end of the autograph score – “Will this music that I have just written be sacred music or scary music? I was born for comic opera, as You well know!  A bit of knowledge and a bit of heart, that’s all it is.  Be therefore merciful, and grant me Paradise.”

Shortly before he died, Rossini decided to orchestrate the Petite messe solennelle for full orchestra.  In this new symphonic guise the full chorus undertook the Tutti, leaving the four solo singers – soprano, contralto, tenor, bass – to sing the solo numbers only.

The concert will be video-projected live in Piazza del Popolo, in collaboration with the Pesaro Town Council.