May 14, 2022 | 7:30pm
During the early 19th century, Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) dominated the world of Italian opera and is widely recognized as the greatest Italian composer of his time. After a string of opera hits (some forty operatic successes in under twenty years!), Rossini retired from penning operas and shifted to other musical works. Choral music lovers can be eternally thankful for the Petite Messe Solennelle.
Compelling and full of drama, the Petite Messe was not written for a church, but for a small audience at a Parisian Countess’ town home. Rossini was very aware of the long tradition and legacy of religious music by predecessors like Bach, Haydn, and Mozart, and drew upon the traits typically found in their symphonic liturgical music. With great virtuosity, he combined the religious musical tradition with an innate humanity, writing with operatic drama and expression.
While the mass is neither Petite (small) nor Solennelle (solemn), it is pious and reverent in its conviction to the sacred mass text, with a light and operatic flair. Vancouver audiences are sure to delight in this charming choral work, perfect for a spring evening.