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In the wake of his success with his EMI recording of Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Pappano has now recorded the same composer’s other major religious choral work, the Petite messe solennelle. As everyone knows, while it’s definitely a Mass, the piece is anything but small or solemn. This is even truer when, as here, the work is given not in its piano-and-harmonium guise but in its rarely heard full orchestral version. Pappano and his Saint Cecilia forces give a committed, idiomatic performance of this highly enjoyable piece. All the soloists are first-rate, but it’s espe- cially good to hear tenor Francesco Meli and Pappano relishing the Domine Deus. The level of extraneous noise is unusual from the EMI stable (is it a live recording?) but doesn’t detract from the quality of the music-making.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica

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