Petite Messe Solennelle (Gioachino Rossini)

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  • 1. Section 1 - Pages 1 to 31, CPDL #14687: Icon_pdf.gif
Editor: Michael Gibson (submitted 2007-08-06).   Score information: A4, 31 pages, 1240 kbytes   Copyright: CPDL
  • 2. Section 2 - Pages 32 to 69, CPDL #14688: Icon_pdf.gif
Editor: Michael Gibson (submitted 2007-08-06).   Score information: A4, 38 pages, 1559 kbytes   Copyright: CPDL
  • 3. Section 3 - Pages 70 to 111, CPDL #14689: Icon_pdf.gif
Editor: Michael Gibson (submitted 2007-08-06).   Score information: A4, 42 pages, 1686 kbytes   Copyright: CPDL
  • 4. Section 4 - Pages 112 to 135, CPDL #14690: Icon_pdf.gif
Editor: Michael Gibson (submitted 2007-08-06).   Score information: A4, 24 pages, 1000 kbytes   Copyright: CPDL
  • MIDI Files: The MIDI files for the whole work are zipped together: Icon_snd.gif
Edition notes: Includes a keyboard version of the original accompaniment.

General Information

Title: Petite Messe Solennelle
Composer: Gioacchino Rossini

Number of voices: 4vv + 4 soli  Voicing: SATB
Soloists: SATB
Genre: Sacred, Mass

Language: Latin
Instruments: Harmonium and two pianos or orchestra
Published: Ricordi (London) edition of 1968.

Description: This work was Rossini's last major composition and dates from 1863. With typical ironic wit, the Mass in neither 'Petite' (taking around 75 minutes in performance) nor 'Solennelle'. It was first performed on 14 March 1864 on the occasion of the dedication of the private chapel of the Comte and Comtesse Pillet-Will in their home in the Rue Moncey. The work is dedicated to the Comtesse.

The autograph score of the original version of this work is annotated by Rossini "Twelve singers of three sexes, men women and castrati, will be sufficient for its performance: that is to say eight for the chorus and four for the solos" This note is somewhat surprising, as 'castrati' had virtually died out by that period. It is of note that, in the first performance of this work, supervised by Rossini, the alto solo part was sung by a female contralto, not a male alto. Rossini also marked that the soloists should sing with the chorus. This would require a prodigious effort on the part of the soloists and modern concert choirs would not need this reinforcement. The current edition therefore does not suggest that the soloists double the chorus parts.

First performed 1864. Rossini adopted the unique sound of harmonium and two pianos to accompany this work, and this should be replicated in performance where possible. The single piano accompaniment given here is for rehearsal purposes only. Rossini was later prevailed upon to orchestrate this work and he sought to ensure as little distortion of the work’s timbres and textures as possible. But the original harmonium/piano version may be thought to be the best.

External links:

Original text and translations

For information, refer to the Mass page. For texts and translations, see the individual pages:

KyrieGloriaCredoSanctus & BenedictusAgnus Dei

The O salutaris Hostia movement (No.13 in score published at CPDL) is not a part of Mass, it is a verse of a Hymn for Feast of Corpus Christi. (Text by St. Thomas of Aquin)


O salutaris hostia
quae coeli pandis ostium:
bella premunt hostilia:
da robur, fer auxilium.

English.png (rough translation)

O sacrifice of salvation
which opens the heavens' gate:
our enemies do oppress us with war:
give us force, grant us your help.