Gioachino Rossini’s Petite Messe solennelle at the Lucerne Festival

On 13th April, Marianna will be among the soloists performing Gioachino Rossini’s Petite Messe solenelle at the Lucerne Festival:

Bavarian Radio Choir | Howard Arman conductor | Yaara Tal piano| Andreas Groethuysen piano | Regula Mühlemann soprano |Marianna Pizzolato alto | Dominik Wortig tenor | Mika Kares bass

Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)
Petite Messe solennelle

In 1829 Gioachino Rossini had simply gotten tired of it all. Only 37 at the time, he had already composed 39 operas and was fed up with flighty divas, unmotivated orchestras, and scheming managers. So Rossini retired from the stage, preferring to spend his time with the culinary arts and his salon, for which he wrote all kinds of chamber music miniatures, songs, and piano pieces: “Péchés de vieillesse” (“Sins of Old Age”) as he named these entertainment pieces. But in 1864 he was persuaded once again to compose a work of sacred music, his Petite Messe solennelle or “Little Solemn Mass.” Lasting some 90 minutes, though, the score hardly turned out to be succinct: its ravishing blend of strict counterpoint, mellifluously operatic melodies, and flashy march songs sounds more peculiar than pious. “This is not church music for you Germans,” remarked Rossini, brushing aside the critic Eduard Hanslick’s reservations. “My sacred music is always but semi-seria.”