Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle
Willem Jeths is fascinated by two themes: Italy and death. Now, he brings them together in his latest work, Viaggio Italiano, in its premiere performance by the Netherlands Radio Choir. The choir will also sing Rossini’s beloved Petite messe solennelle in the Concertgebouw on 27 April!
Jeth's and Italian travel stories
Artistic director Kees Vlaardingerbroek, an expert on Italian music, compiled a history of Italian travel descriptions and poetry through the centuries. It became the basis for sensitive choral sounds by Willem Jeths and his Viaggio Italiano (Italian journey), commissioned by the NTR Saturday Matinee. The central part contains an Italian epitaph for an eighteenth-century Dutch traveller who hoped Italy would be good for his health. He died there, aged 24. Rossini's Petite messe solennelle now sounds more devout than ever.
Rossini's little choral paradise
Thirty years after his last opera, Gioachino Rossini wrote his Petite messe solennelle. In his own words, the miraculous work was the last of his Péchés de vieillesse, sins of old age. He apologized directly to Our Lord in the manuscript. 'I was born for the opera buffa. Not a lot of technique, a little heart, that's all. Blessings upon you, and grant me Paradise.' In the meantime, he had created a paradise on earth for a small choir, four soloists, two fortepianos and a harmonium. A combination of opera and religion reduced to the essence.
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