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RossiniHis Life and Works$
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Richard Osborne

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195181296

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181296.001.0001

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Sacred Music:

Sacred Music:

Messa di Gloria, Stabat mater, Petite messe solennelle

Chapter:
(p.325) Chapter Thirty-Nine Sacred Music:
Source:
Rossini
Author(s):

Richard Osborne

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181296.003.0039

Gioachino Rossini was intelligently aware of the fact that composers of sacred music could all too easily be joined to the devil’s party without their knowing it. However, in his own sacred music, the Petite messe solennelle in particular, he is strikingly honest. One glimpses here a darker, more troubled side to his nature, married to a compensatory love of the older, preclassical choral disciplines. The most substantial of the sacred works when Rossini was active as an opera composer is the Messa di Gloria, a nine-movement setting of the Mass’s “Kyrie” and “Gloria.” Whatever images one cares to attach, it is gloriously affirmative music which confirms the truth of Théophile Gautier’s assertion that Italian sacred music is by nature “heureux, souriant, presque gai, toujours en fête.” He made these remarks after hearing Rossini’s Stabat mater at its first official performance in Paris in 1842.

Keywords:   Gioachino Rossini, sacred music, Messa di Gloria, Mass, Kyrie, Gloria, Théophile Gautier, Stabat mater

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