The “Petite Messe Solennelle
” is the finest work of Rossini
’s late years. He composed it between 1863 and 1864 at the age of 71 as a commission for Countess Louise Pillet-Will for the consecration of her private chapel, where the work received its first performance in March 1864. Together with the “Stabat mater”, the mass is one of the composer’s most important sacred works.