Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)

became famous for his virtuoso, comic bel canto operas. At the age of 37 he retired from writing for opera and composed no more major works. The Petite Messe, which he described as his 'last sin of old age', is an exception. Although he provided witty remarks on the score, it was a genuinely devout work. A formidable, festive 'little' solemn mass, sometimes reminiscent of Bach, but unmistakably also of opera.

Furthermore, a short opening programme with three fine works for choir and piano by Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924): his well-known and universally beloved Cantique de Jean Racine, the exciting Les Djinns about teasing spirits and demons during a storm, and Madrigal (op. 35), a teasing yet lyrical love duet between young men and women, which Fauré wrote for a good friend, a former student, who was getting married.

With chamber orchestra and Femke de Graaf, piano

Conductor: Jeroen Spitteler

Soloists (Rossini):

Ingrid Nugteren, soprano

Elsbeth Gerritsen, alto