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.