Rossini’s late Stabat Mater, completed well over a decade after the end of his operatic career, is a choral masterwork.

In setting the medieval Latin text recounting the sorrows of the Virgin Mary at the crucifixion, Rossini responded with music that exudes qualities of granite and grandeur. Such was the success of its premiere that within the following year it had been performed all over Europe twenty-nine times. Among its highlights are an affecting, unaccompanied quartet which will be performed by a superb line-up of soloists. Another is the spirited, concluding choral fugue for the Hallé Choir to relish. Beethoven’s Second Symphony, full of the wit and high spirits we associate with Rossini, make it the perfect companion to
Stabat Mater.