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Archived event

Performance details

Saturday 28 May 2022 at 7.30pm
Melbourne Recital Centre

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MSO Chorus
Warren Trevelyan-Jones
Kathryn Radcliffe
Deborah Humble mezzo-soprano
Nicholas Jones tenor
Jeremy Kleeman bass
Jacob Abela piano
Tom Griffiths piano
Donald Nicolson harmonium


Rossini Petite messe solennelle (Little solemn mass)

About this performance

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus returns to stage with Rossini’s essential masterpiece. Warren Trevelyan-Jones directs four stunning soloists with two pianos and harmonium.

  • The Petite messe solennelle (1863) is arguably one of the most remarkable of all the nineteenth-century choral masterworks. The style that Rossini uses in his twilight years (this being one of the last works he wrote before his death in 1868) is comparable to the choral music of Haydn, Fauré and Poulenc.
  • The beautiful melodies in this work are intertwined with the comedic sense of irony that gave Rossini so much of his success with the opera buffa genre. This piece is neither small, nor solemn!
  • Rossini structured his mass in the tradition of the missa solemnis but added the petite label as a little joke. He wrote on the final page of the manuscript: “Dear Lord, here it is finished, this poor little mass. Have I just written sacred music, or rather, sacrilegious music? I was born for opera buffa, as you know well. Not much technique, a little bit of heart, that’s all.”

Duration: approx. 90 minutes (no interval)

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