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Romsey Choral Society presents Petite Messe Solennelle

Saturday July 5, 2014 at 19:30
Romsey Abbey, Romsey
£18, £15, unreserved £12
Phone for tickets: 01794 512987
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Other Sources: www.romseychoral.org.uk
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  1. Petite Messe Solennelle - Gioachino Rossini

Rossini’s last great work, his Petite Messe Solennelle. This up-beat, optimistic work for choir, piano and harmonium, which often comes close to parody, is thought by most to be something of a joke on Rossini’s part – one of what he himself called his “sins of old age”. So what does Romsey Choral Society’s Musical Director Jamie W Hall think?

“The benefit of not being a scholar is that I’m quite happy to reject all that – I don’t believe a word. Just listen to the music! Take the Agnus Dei. If this is Rossini tongue-in-cheek then his famous sense of humour is in question! The accompaniment reeks of the rhythms of the sinful dances that would eventually become the tango, and performing this sinful dance, Rossini’s favourite voice, the solo mezzo soprano, in the opera world linked to age, experience and emotional damage! The choir repeats “give us peace, give us peace” as if paradise is too much to ask for this sinner – this lover of earthly pleasures. Here is a man, a famous gourmand and bon viveur, certainly not known for religious music, who has thrown all his creative genius at a piece he hopes desperately, will tip the balance in favour of his salvation.”

So what does this all mean for Romsey Choral Society’s performance? Musical Director Hall says “We’ve thrown away the book. We’re rejecting the flat-white and the rum-ti-tum in favour of something emotionally three-dimensional. We hope to capture Rossini’s joy and his love of life along with his anxiety, his longing, his desperation not to be damned. The Agnus Dei which ends the piece should be gloriously devastating!”

Romsey Choral Society is joined by a stellar quartet of opera-singing talent who will help them bring this extraordinary piece to life.

Romsey Abbey
SO51 8EN
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