Rossini: Messa di Gloria
Eleonora Buratto (soprano), Teresa Irevolini (mezzo-soprano), Lawrence Brownlee, Michael Spyres (tenor), Carlo Lepore (bass)
Antonio Pappano / Santa Cecilia Orchestra & Chorus (Warner)
Unlike the post-retirement Stabat Mater and Petite Messe Solennelle, this Messa di Gloria was written in the heyday of Rossini’s opera career. And Rossini had a deadline to meet, so it’s inevitable that opera bled into this religious work. But the operatic touch is different from that of the Verdi Requiem which is quite melodramatic in the treatment of human despair and sadness. Rossini’s mass does away with the Credo section and the mood is heroic as a whole.
So I won’t hesitate to recommend this album to those who stay away from religious music. Just listen to it like an opera aria album. Those who know their Bach or Mozart will find echos in the spirited arias. Worth special mention are those arias accompanied by a solo woodwind, such as track 6 (first tenor and cor anglais), track 10 (bass and clarinet). The most fabulous aria is spread over tracks 8 and 9, it’s no different than a typical Rossini bravura opera aria. Michael Spyres, the second tenor, will blow your mind.