I think Rossini was one of the first composers Hans added to his collection. At this moment I have four CD’s with the complete performance of Rossini’s Stabat Mater. The fifth one is Liszt transcription of the tenor aria Cujus Animam Gementem, on piano by Frederic Lamond.
I have always loved Rossini; the last 15 years I visited several performances with Rossini’s Stabat. But yesterday was a very special event. Rossini’s Stabat was performed by the students (choir and orchestra) of the Royal Conservatoire in the Hague in the Nieuwe Kerk. Conductor was Peter Dijkstra with the soloists: Natalie Pérez (soprano), Vita van der Dussen (mezzo soprano), Felipe Gallegos (tenor) and Einar Gudmundsson (bass).
Actually Rossini was a composer of mainly comic operas, that’s why his religious works sometimes have been criticized as less serious. I could not resist reading Hans’ webpage about Rossini where he cites the composer (notes to the Petite Messe Solonelle):
“Here it is then, this poor little Mass. Have I written truly sacred music, or just damn bad music? I was born for opera buffa, as you well know. Not much skill, but quite a bit of feeling – that’s how I’d sum it up. Blessed be thy name, and grant me a place in Paradise“.