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Nino Rota's Messa di Requiem Premiered at the Cattedrale di San Sabino in Bari

Oct. 19, 2023

Nino Rota's <em>Messa di Requiem</em> Premiered at the Cattedrale di San Sabino in Bari

On October 8, American conductor Jonathan Hirsch led the world premiere performance of Nino Rota's Messa di Requiem at the Cattedrale di San Sabino in Bari as part of the thirteenth edition of the "Notti Sacre," an esteemed cultural event organized by the Archdiocese of Bari-Bitonto. Remaining unpublished and unperformed until today, this month's concert marked the first ever performance of Rota's Messa di Requiem for double choir and organ. The score, edited by Hirsch, will be published by Schott and will be available for performances worldwide. Notably, Nino Rota composed the work at the tender age of twelve, sometime between 1923 and 1924, dedicating it to the memory of his father Ercole, who passed away in August 1922. Singers participating in the premiere included choristers chosen from the Bari Conservatory, the University and the Polifonica Barese and Florilegium Vocis choirs, prepared by Sabino Manzo. The city of Bari, an important city for Rota who directed the Music Conservatory there for several decades, pays a particularly significant and deeply felt homage to the great and unforgettable Italian composer, and thus it is fitting that the premiere of his Messa di Requiem would take place here.

News feature by TRM Network on the premiere of Nino Rota's Messa di Requiem in Bari

Nino Rota is perhaps best known for his legendary film scores which include compositions for outstanding classics such as Federico Fellini’s La dolce vita (1960), The clowns (1970), Amarcord (1973), Il Casanova di Federico Fellini (1976), Luchino Visconti’s Il Gattopardo (1963), Giulietta degli spiriti (1965) and Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather (1972) for which he won both a Grammy Award and a Golden Globe Award, as well as for his extensive output for the concert hall and stage which includes ten operas, 23 ballet and stage compositions, three symphonies, three concertos each for piano and cello and a substantial range of choral works and chamber music. Additionally, Nino Rota's sacred music includes a diverse collection of works for voice(s) and organ or piano: 
Psalm 6 and Psalm 99, Salve Regina and Tota pulchra es.

Tota Pulchra Es/Silvia Colombini, soprano, Eugenio Maria Fagiani, tenor, and Davide Giusti, organ

There are also choral works both grand and intimate: MeditazioneMysterium, and Messa Breve

Mysterium: 2. Impetuoso/Coro Di Voci Bianche, Coro, e Orchestra Sinfonica Di Milano Giuseppe Verdi/
Giuseppe Grazioli, conductor

and a sacred drama, La vita di Maria for soloists, chorus, and orchestra. 

"La passione," from La vita di Maria/Prague Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Nino Rota, conductor

A fit for the concert hall and chapel alike, Rota's sacred music is melodious and attractive. We enthusiastically invite our readers to explore Nino Rota's exceptionally multifaceted oevure.

To learn more about Nino Rota, visit

Nino Rota
Messa di Requiem (1923-24)
for organ and voices (SATB)
I Introit
II Kirie Eleison
III Graduale
IV Tractus
V Sequentia
VI Offertorio
VII Sanctus
VIII Agnus Dei
IX Communio
X Libera me