This recording features the Gaechinger Cantorey, the Dresdner Kammerchor, the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, Sung Min Song and Krešimir Stražanac, all performing under Hans-Christoph Rademann.

© 2023 a co-production of SWR2 and Carus

Balance Engineer: Andreas Nusbaum

Assistant Engineer: Paul Hölpert

Recording Producer: Adrian von Ripka

The early musical experiences of Puccini and Verdi, those two giants of Italian opera, were in fact gained in the field of sacred music. In 1880, at the age of 22, Puccini composed his Messa a 4 voci as a graduation exercise. When still a schoolboy, the 45-year older Verdi stood in for the organist in his home village; at the end of this life, he returned to church music, writing his Quattro pezzi sacri in the 1890s at the age of over 80. The Messa of the younger composer – which was believed lost until 1952 – is a joyful and scintillating work. Artistically, Verdi’s powerful and intense Pezzi sacri can be placed on an equal standing with his beloved operas.