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Messa per Rossini

The Messa per Rossini is a Requiem mass, which resulted from a joint effort of thirteen composers.

Shortly after Gioacchino Rossini's death in 1868, Giuseppe Verdi invited the twelve most eminent Italian composers of the time to contribute to a funeral mass for Rossini. The premiere of the mass was meant to take place on the first anniversary of Rossini's death on November 13 1869 in Bologna. The composition was finished by the summer of 1869, yet the performance had to be cancelled due to adverse conditions. The manuscript subsequently fell into oblivion.

Giuseppe Verdi adopted his own contribution, the concluding Libera me, in revised form as origin for composing his own Messa da Requiem.

The complete Messa per Rossini was discovered by American musicologist David Rosen in 1970 and premiered in 1988 by the Gächinger Kantorei conducted by Helmuth Rilling at the European Music Festival in Stuttgart. The first performance in the USA took place one year later. The opus has subsequently been recorded on CD. The first UK performance was given in 2003 at the Royal Academy of Music (London) by the Trinity Chorale and Trinity Orchestra, conducted by John Wyatt. As the orchestral, vocal parts and full score have never been published, copies of the hand-written manuscript scores used in this performance were loaned to the performers by Casa Ricordi (Verdi's music publisher) in Milan.


  • soloists: soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, bass
  • mixed chorus (4 to 6 voices)
  • orchestra: piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 4 bassoone, 4 horns, 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, ophicleide, 4 timpani, bass drum, cymbals, tam-tam, organ, strings (including divisi and solo)

Structure of the work and contributors

Composer Section Movement Setting
Antonio Buzzolla
(1815 - 1871)
I. Introitus Requiem e Kyrie chorus
Antonio Bazzini
(1818 - 1897)
II. Sequentia 1. Dies Irae chorus
Carlo Pedrotti
(1817 - 1893)
2. Tuba mirum solo (baritone) and chorus
Antonio Cagnoni
(1828 - 1896)
3. Quid sum miser duet: soprano, alto
Federico Ricci
(1809 - 1877)
4. Recordare Jesu quartet: soprano, alto, baritone, bass
Alessandro Nini
(1805 - 1880)
5. Ingemisco solo (tenor) and chorus
Raimondo Boucheron
(1800 - 1876)
6. Confutatis
Oro supplex
solo (bass) and chorus
Carlo Coccia
(1782 - 1873)
7. Lacrimosa
Gaetano Gaspari
(1808 - 1881)
III. Offertorium Domine Jesu
Quam olim Abrahae
Quam olim Abrahae
quartet (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) and chorus
Pietro Platania
(1828 - 1907)
IV. Sanctus Sanctus
solo (soprano) and chorus
Lauro Rossi
(1810 - 1885)
V. Agnus Dei Agnus Dei solo (alto)
Teodulo Mabellini
(1817 - 1897)
VI. Communio Lux aeterna trio: tenor, baritone, bass
Giuseppe Verdi
(1813 - 1901)
VII. Responsorium Libera me
Dies Irae
Requiem aeternam
Libera me
solo (soprano) and chorus

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