«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 well know. Not much technique, a little bit of heart, that’s all. Blessings to you and grant me Paradise.»(Gioachino Rossini, Passy, 1863)

La Petite Messe Solennelle is part and culmination of the last creative period of Rossini, whose musical outcome is the collection by him entitled Péchés de Viellesse. The drafting of the Petite messe has gone through several phases of which remain a version for Soloists, Choir, Piano and Harmonium and later one for Soloists, Choir, Organ and Orchestra. At an advanced stage of drafting, March 14, 1864, the Petite Messe was performed in chamber version in the house of Count Pillet-Will, and therein replicated the following year. The performance did not exhaust the creative story, Rossini, in fact, continued to fix the cards in view of orchestration and, as usual, he did so on the original draft, overwriting the previous version every time, taking care of the smallest detail. The version for orchestra, as opposed to the private nature of the first draft, seems to want to fulfill the role of public contribution, albeit personal, about the lively debate of those years around the renewal of sacred music. It was in the two summers 1867-68, the last of Rossini, that the Petite messe seems to take on the final version. The changes are not marginal, but provide retouching everywhere. In general, they are introductions or instrumental lines at the Gloria sections, but there are tricks to give weight to the final, especially in the fugue of the Credo. The most significant is the addition Eucharistic hymn O salutaris hostia Rossini composed not from scratch, but recovered from a song for voice and piano already written earlier and included among the Péchés de Viellesse under the title O salutaris, de campagne. The piece originally for alto, is now transcribed for soprano to differentiate from the next Agnus Dei, also for alto. The insertion follows the French liturgical tradition, and most particularly Parisian, where since the sixteenth century the singing for the elevation of the Host was an important moment during the great masses, especially if linked to the official celebrations. Phase orchestration continued until the last days of his life.


The entrance tickets (max 2 per person) can be picked up only at the Sinopie Museum on 15 and 16 December from 10 am to 16:30 and the evening of the concert from 19:30 to 20:50 while seats last. You cannot make telephone reservations or by e-mail.
There is no special area reserved for disabled persons; tickets are free for everyone. Those with restricted mobility and wheelchair users only who wish to attend the concerts should email to ensure that appropriate spaces are available, in compliance with safety regulations.