‘Dear Lord, here it is finished, this poor little mass. Have I just written sacred music, or rather, sacrilegious music? I was born for opera buffa, as you well know. Not much technique, a little bit of heart, that’s all. Blessings to you and grant me Paradise.’ (Gioachino Rossini, Passy, 1863)
Rossini‘s work is, after all, unique in his oeuvre, both in terms of the performing apparatus and the scope and musical content of the work. It certainly reveals the author’s operatic vein, not only in the arias, but also in the soloist and choral responses in the Agnus Dei movement, for example, but also in the author’s intention to stand before the Lord as a poeta doctus (a scholar-artist), who is a master of one of the most difficult musical forms, the fugue. And although the Romantic period tends to approach this work from an emotional point of view, one cannot fail to notice the monotonous rhythmic formulae of Rossini’s comic operas, the mechanisms of playing with rhythms and weights, in which we, the people of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, can ultimately discover the basic formulas of popular music, including jazz and rock.