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Donald Macleod presents five takes on the life and music of Gioachino Rossini. Today, the music that Rossini didn’t have to write.

This week, Donald Macleod presents five takes on the life and music of Gioachino Rossini. Today, the music that Rossini didn’t have to write.

According to Rossini’s biographer Richard Osborne, the composer left a “large and absorbingly diverse collection of non-operatic compositions” – some written during his career, many more after his early retirement from the stage in 1831. They range from a short occasional fanfare for four horns and orchestra written as a musical thank-you for a well-to-do host who was crazy about hunting, to the masterpiece of Rossini’s late years, the Petite messe solennelle, which the composer prefaced with a tongue-in-cheek letter to God: “Good God, there we have it, complete, this poor little Mass. Is it really sacred music that I’ve made, or is it merely abominable music? I was born for opera buffa, as Thou well knowest. Little skill, a little heart, and that is all. So be Thou blessed, and admit me to Paradise. G. Rossini. Passy, 1863.”

String Sonata No 1 in G; 3rd mvt, Allegro
Ensemble de I Virtuosi Italiani

Messa di Gloria; Kyrie eleison—Christe eleison—Kyrie eleison
Francisco Araiza, tenor
Raúl Gimenez, tenor
Academy and Chorus of St Martin-in-the-Fields
Neville Marriner, conductor

La pastorella
Beltà crudele
Cecilia Bartoli, mezzo soprano
Charles Spencer, piano

Serenata per piccolo compresso
Members of the Budapest Festival Orchestra

Le Rendez-vous de chasse
Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi
Riccardo Chailly, conductor

Petite messe solennelle; Credo—Crucifixus—Et resurrexit
Kari Løvaas, soprano
Brigitte Fassbaender, alto
Peter Schreier, tenor
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone
Die Münchner Vokalsolisten
Reinhard Raffalt, harmonium
Hans Ludwig Hirsch, piano
Wolfgang Sawallisch, piano and conductor

Produced by Chris Barstow for BBC Wales

59 minutes

Music Played

  • Gioachino Rossini

    Sonata a Quattro No 1 in G Major (Allegro)

    Ensemble: I Virtuosi Italiani.
    • TACTUS TC791802.
    • TACTUS.
    • 3.
  • Gioachino Rossini

    Messa di Gloria (Kyrie Eleison)

    Singer: Francisco Araiza. Singer: Raúl Giménez. Orchestra: Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Choir: Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chorus. Conductor: Neville Marriner.
    • PHILIPS 434 1322.
    • PHILIPS.
    • 1.
  • Gioachino Rossini

    La Pastorella

    Performer: Charles Spencer. Singer: Cecilia Bartoli.
    • DECCA 430 5182.
    • DECCA.
    • 1.
  • Gioachino Rossini

    Belta crudele (Amori scendete)

    Performer: Charles Spencer. Singer: Cecilia Bartoli.
    • DECCA 430 5182.
    • DECCA.
    • 2.
  • Gioachino Rossini

    Serenata in E flat major

    Performer: Violetta Eckhardt. Performer: Jozsef Lendvay. Performer: György Porzsolt. Performer: Erika Sebők. Performer: Dudu Carmel. Performer: Balázs Kovács. Performer: György Kertész. Conductor: Iván Fischer.
    • CHANNEL CLASSICS 27708.
    • CHANNEL CLASSICS.
    • 2.
  • Gioachino Rossini

    Concerto grosso "Le rendez-vous de chasse"

    Orchestra: Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi. Conductor: Riccardo Chailly.
    • DECCA 470 2982.
    • DECCA.
    • 3.
  • Gioachino Rossini

    Petite messe solennelle: Credo

    Performer: Reinhard Raffalt. Performer: Hans-Ludwig Hirsch. Performer: Wolfgang Sawallisch. Singer: Kari Lövaas. Singer: Brigitte Fassbaender. Conductor: Peter Schreier. Singer: Dietrich Fischer‐Dieskau. Ensemble: Munich Vocal Soloists.
    • EURODISC 610 263-232.
    • EURODISC.
    • 1.

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