Puccini Messa di Gloria

Well, I guess the word is out: Capital Choir will perform Puccini’s Messa di Gloria later this year. The Wikipedia page has the information that the usual title is a misnomer, as it is a full Mass and not a true Messa di Gloria, which would contain only the Kyrie and Gloria. That’s fascinating, to someone with pedantic leanings like me. It was written when Giacomo Puccini was in his early 20s, as his graduation exercise from the Istituto Musicale Pacini. In this respect it has parallels with another piece we will perform, Gabriel Faure’s Cantique de Jean Racine, which was written by the composer at 19 for a composition competition at the École Niedermeyer de Paris. (He won.) Both are remarkable pieces for such young composers.

I encountered the Puccini Messa for the first time at choir rehearsal this week, having unavoidably missed a few weeks. I still don’t know what to make of it. So I scanned YouTube for a few performances, as you do, and found several that didn’t really convince me. But I think I like this one: