In 1829, after an extraordinarily prolific and successful career, Rossini turned his back on the world of opera, for good. He was still only 37, but we can hardly grudge him his early retirement: he'd completed 39 operas in 20 years. Many attempts were made to try to lure the great man back to the operatic stage, but he never became actively involved in any of the projects dangled before him. His musical energies would become centred on his famous Saturday soirees at his apartment after he'd settled permanently in Paris in 1857. Donald Macleod focuses on these years of retirement, including Rossini's final masterpiece, the Petite Messe Solennelle.
Rossini: William Tell ("O muto asil del pianto...")
Chris Merritt, tenor (Arnoldo)
Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala, conducted by Riccardo Muti
Rossini: Robert Bruce, Overture
Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro di Milano, conducted by Riccardo Chailly
Rossini: La Regata Veneziana
Stella Doufexis, mezzo-soprano; Roger Vignoles, piano
Rossini: Giovanna d'Arco
Cecilia Bartoli, mezzo-soprano; Charles Spencer, piano
Rossini: Petite Messe Solennelle (O salutaris hostia & Agnus Dei)
Daniela Dessi, soprano; Gloria Scalchi, mezzo-soprano
Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Communale di Bologna, conducted by Riccardo Chailly.