Immediately following Rossini's death in 1868, Verdi wrote to the publisher Ricordi, "To honor Rossini's memory, I would very much like the best composers in Italy to write a requiem mass, which should be performed on the anniversary of Rossini's death." Verdi's noble plan required each of the composers to contribute a movement, to be performed on the anniversary of Rossini's death in the church of San Petronio in Bologna.
All was prepared for performance but the political and cultural climate in the newly-unified Italy led to the project being abandoned. The music remained in the vaults of Casa Ricordi until 1986 when the Messa per Rossini was rediscovered. The work was recreated and the public world premiere held in September 1988 as the closing performance at the European Music Festival in Stuttgart, conducted by Professor Helmuth Rilling.
BONUS: IN SEARCH OF THE MESSA PER ROSSINI
Shot in Germany and Italy, this documentary follows the history of the creation of the Messa per Rossini, focusing on Verdi's efforts to create a lasting tribute to the composer he so much admired.
"…a fascinating conspectus of the state of sacred music in Italy in the 1860s and a rare chance to hear work by composers who will otherwise remain mere names in textbooks for most of us. For this reason, for the contribution of Rilling and his choir, and of the soloists (especially Beňačkova, Quivar and Wagner), this is a rewarding issue.
The performance is well recorded and filmed, architectural detail of the Evangelische Stadtkirche in Ellwangen supplementing, but not distracting from, the performance." - Glyn Pursglove, Music Web International
Gabriela Benackova, soprano
Florence Quivar, mezzo soprano
James Wagner, tenor
Alexandru Agache, baritone
Aage Haugland, bass
Gachinger Kantorei Stuttgart
The Prague Philharmonia Choir
The Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Musical Director: Helmuth Rilling
A recording from the Evangelische Stadtkirche in Ellwangen, Wurttemberg.
Verdi • Buzzolla • Bazzini • Pedrotti
Cagnioni • Ricci • Nini • Boucheron • Coccia
Gaspari • Platania • Rossi • Mabellini
Executive Producer: Manfred Kahmann
Producer: Hartmut Schottler
Director for Television: Hugo Kach
IN SEARCH OF THE MESSA PER ROSSINI
Producer: Bernd Hellthaler
Director: Gabriele Faust
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