City Chorus is a friendly, hard working choir, performing several times a year in beautiful venues in the City of London. Our concerts are famously convivial, filled with friends, family and supporters of the choir. Gioachino Rossini’s last great masterpiece has moments of radiance and uninhibited joy but also a darker side hinting at death as the extinction of meaning. City Chorus is joined by several soloists – Rebecca Lea, soprano; Marie Elizabeth Seager, mezzo-soprano; Ben Thapa, tenor; Stephen Holloway, bass – and accompanied by Giancarlo Palena on accordion and Philip Shannon, piano. Our conductor is Paul Ayres, also a successful composer and arranger.
The Petite Messe Solennelle was written in 1864 for the dedication of the private chapel of Countess Pillet-Will. Rossini himself questioned whether the work was entirely sacred, given his preference for comic opera.
Throughout his long life as a composer Rossini had a special affinity with the voice. He wrote numerous operas, including William Tell, The Barber of Seville and The Italian Girl in Algiers but also composed five masses and a number of liturgical pieces and other church works. He was astonishingly successful during his lifetime with his works experiencing a revival in the 20th Century. Petite Messe Solennelle is music of the soul which will speak directly to every member of the audience and all will enjoy the creativity and craftmanship displayed in the work.