On the occasion of the 140th anniversary of the composer’s death, crowds gathered at the Leipziger Gewandhaus to witness a world-class performance of one of Rossini’s two large-scale, major choral works: the Petite Messe Solennelle. Riccardo Chailly – whose ‘genius for the Rossini style has ripened with the years’ (Gramophone) – leads a spectacular ensemble of four internationally renowned singers, the combined forces of the Choir of the Leipzig Opera and the Gewandhaus Choir, and the Gewandhausorchester; their harmonious, ethereal rendition receives a heartfelt ovation that affirms the beguiling effect of the last of Rossini’s ‘sins of old age’.
Gioacchino Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle was written in 1863, "the last", the composer called it, of my “péchés de vieillesse" (sins of old age). For its first performance (1864) Rossini arranged the work with only two pianos and harmonium. Partly for fear that it would be done anyway after his death, Rossini discreetly orchestrated the Petite Messe Solennelle during 1866-67, without losing its candor and subtlety. The resulting version had its first public performance on 28 February 1869, three months after the composer's death.
"Mr Chailly's genius for the Rossini style has ripened with the years. His performance has daring and velocity." Gramophone
Picture format DVD: NTSC 16:9
Sounds formats DVD: PCM Stereo, DD 5.0, DTS 5.0
Region code: 0
Booklet notes: English, German, French
Subtitles: Latin, English, Deutsch, French, Español
Running time: 85 mins
“A fine quartet of soloists has been engaged, with two sonorous choirs, a top-line orchestra and a conductor who is at home in Rossini, all captured in very good sound and with visual clarity...Palazzi produces a steady stream of rounded tone, warmly resonant...The jaunty tenor aria 'Domine Deus' is free from strain in Stefano Secco's vocalism...[Pendatchanska] sports a dark-hued soprano...[Custer] is firm of tone throughout her compass.”
“The combined choirs of the Gewandhaus and the Leipzig Opera sing like chamber musicians in a stylish, spruce and beautifully scaled performance...Chailly has two dark-toned soloists on the distaff side, nicely matched with a mobile bass and a quick-eyed tenor...Rossini's orchestration, itself not without interest as a period phenomenon, is realised with tact and imagination by Chailly and his Gewandhaus players”
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