19th-century Italian opera genius Rossini described this ‘little solemn mass’ composed in 1863 as ‘the last of my sins of old age’ (he was 71).
Rossini had finished composing opera thirty years before.
Nevertheless, this work reflected his ability to compose memorable and singable melodies – alongside supremely well-worked counterpoint for the unusual combination of piano and harmonium.
The name may be self-deprecating but this is an extended mass setting, full of drama, colour and heartfelt emotion.
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