Michael Rosewell conductor
Rossini Petite messe solennelle
In 1855 prolific opera composer Rossini came out of retirement to produce a number of chamber and sacred works, the most remarkable of which is arguably Petite messe solennelle. In this evening concert, join Michael Rosewell and the RCM Chamber Choir in a moving performance of this beautifully sombre mass.
Rossini completed the work when he was 71 years old and, displaying the sense of humour that coloured many of his famous operas, he described it as the 'final sin of my old age'. The piece is a finely crafted example of 19th-century European sacred music, full of pathos and intensity.
Petite messe solennelle is also ironically titled, for while it may be solemn it is in no way little. Rather, the extended work moves skillfully through 90 minutes of sublime solo writing and richly textured choral settings before reaching its dramatic close.