After a very successful lifetime, albeit marked by long years of physical and psychological suffering, Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) chose Passy, on the outskirts of Paris, as the place to spend the final years of his life. Here Rossini recovered his health and began composing again after years of inactivity. During these years, in addition to the wonderful Petite Messe solennelle, he wrote...
Jomelli: Requiem and Miserere
Niccolò Jomelli: Requiem. il Gardellino orchestra and vocal ensemble. direction: Peter van Heyghen
Niccolò Jommelli was one of the most sought after composers of his time, but finally accepted to become musical director at the court of Stuttgart in 1753. Three years later he composed his Requiem to commemorates the recent death of the Duchess von Württemberg, mother of his patron, the Duke Carl Eugen..
Despite the fact that Jommelli owed his fame almost exclusively to his operas during his lifetime, the Requiem became his most famous work after his death; the almost one hundred handwritten and printed copies of the entire work or fragments of it that have survived in some seventy libraries throughout Europe, some also in the USA, bear witness to this. Whilst the score and parts of the first performance have been lost, we can still form a reasonably good idea of the original instrumentation thanks to a surviving list of payments made to the musicians. We know that there were eight singers (one female and seven male) in addition to Jommelli. We also know that soon after Jommelli’s death the work was performed with ensembles of very different sizes But Peter Van Heyghen and Il Gardellino opted for the version that was close to the first performance and based it’s own edition on the mansuscript that is considered to be the primary source for the work. Van Heyghen and l Gardellino choose to constitute a vocal ensemble with the state of the art singers of the moment, and the result is stunningly convincing and beautiful.
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