New York Choral Society (NYCS) will perform Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle in the newly renovated Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on February 25 at 8pm. The esteemed chorus performs under the baton of NYCS Music Director John Daly Goodwin, alongside soprano Joyce El-Khoury, mezzo-soprano Marjorie Dix, tenor Michele Angelini and bass Brian Kontes.
Written during Rossini's retirement in 1863, the sacred composition caused a sensation upon its completion but was debuted to a private audience only. The original arrangement called for four soloists, a chorus of six and was scored for two pianos and a harmonium. Referred to by Napoleon III as neither little, solemn, nor liturgical, the Mass was considered by some to be a creative self-renewal for the venerated composer.