Somerset Singers Programme for 2017/18 Season

This season we are performing two of the “Greats” in the Oratorio Repertoire. We started in December with the magnificent music of Felix Mendelssohn telling the story of the Old Testament prophet “Elijah”. The Concert featured five soloists plus the Choir singing, once again, with the wonderful “Lochrian Ensemble”.

In contrast, the Spring 2018 Concert will be the light Operatic sound of Rossini’s “Petite Messe Sollenelle” and will be accompanied by a piano and harmonium..



Date Programme Venue
9 December 2017, 7.30pm

16 June 2018

Felix Mendelssohn: Elijah
Giachino Rossini: Petite Messe Sollenelle
St Mary’s Church, Wedmore


St Mary’s Church, Wedmore


Gioachino Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle (Little Solemn Mass) was written in 1863, possibly at the request of Count Alexis Pillet-Will for his wife Louise to whom it is dedicated. The composer, who had retired from composing operas more than 30 years before, described it as “the last of my péchés de vieillesse” (sins of old age).

The extended work is a Missa Solemnis, but Rossini labelled it, not without irony, petite (little). He scored it originally for twelve singers, four of them soloists, two pianos and harmonium. The mass was first performed on 14 March 1864 at the couple’s new home in Paris. Rossini later produced an orchestra version, including an additional movement, a setting of the hymn “O salutaris Hostia” as a soprano aria. This version of the mass was not performed during his lifetime because he could not obtain permission to perform it with female singers in a church. It was first performed three months after his death, at the Salle Ventadour in Paris by the company of the Théâtre-Italien on 24 February 1869.
While publications began that year, the first critical edition appeared only in 1980, followed by more editions in 1992, the bicentenary of the composer’s birth.

The Somerset Choral Society will be performing using the second edition of the score published by G. Ricordi & Co (London) Ltd that is written for voices and piano with harmonium which is how the performance will be accompanied and this version includes “O salutaris Hostia” .

The concert will be at 7:30pm on Saturday 16th June in St Mary’s Church, Wedmore and will be conducted by our Musical Director Ed Goater but our soloists and musicians for Petite Messe Sollenelle will be advised:






Ed Conducting 4

Ed conducting at a rehearsal from his Perch