Messa (Puccini)

Mass by Giacomo Puccini
The composer
Other name Messa di Gloria
Occasion graduation exercise
Performed 12 July 1880 (1880-07-12): Lucca
Movements six
  • tenor
  • baritone
  • SATB choir
  • orchestra

Giacomo Puccini's Messa or Messa a quattro voci (currently more widely known under the apocryphal name of Messa di Gloria)[1] is a Mass composed for orchestra and four-part choir with tenor and baritone soloists. Strictly speaking, the piece is a full Mass, not a true Messa di Gloria (which contains only the Kyrie and Gloria and omits the Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei).


Puccini composed the Mass as his graduation exercise from the Istituto Musicale Pacini. It had its first performance in Lucca on July 12, 1880. However, the Credo had already been written and performed in 1878 and was initially conceived by Puccini as a self-contained work. Puccini never published the full manuscript of the Messa, and although well received at the time, it was not performed again until 1952 (first in Chicago and then in Naples). However, he re-used some of its themes in other works, such as the Agnus Dei in his opera Manon Lescaut and the Kyrie in Edgar.

At the end of World War II, Fr. Dante Del Fiorentino purchased an old copy of the manuscript of the Messa from the Vandini family in Lucca, imagining it was the original score. However, the autograph, in the possession of the Puccini family, was given by his daughter-in-law to Ricordi, Puccini's publishing firm. The ensuing legal battle was finally resolved by dividing the rights to the work between Ricordi and Mills Music (the publishers of Fiorentino's manuscript).[citation needed]


Movement Timing Title Movement indication Solo
Kyrie 5 min. Kyrie eleison Larghetto
Gloria 20 min. Gloria in excelsis Deo Allegro ma non troppo
Et in terra pax Andante
Laudamus te, benedicimus te Andante
Gratias agimus tibi Andante sostenuto tenor
Gloria in excelsis Deo Tempo I
Domine Deus Andante sostenuto
Qui tollis peccata mundi Andante mosso
Quoniam tu solus sanctus Maestoso
Cum Sancto Spiritu Fugue (Allegro)
Credo 16 min. Credo in unum Deum Andante
Et incarnatus Moderato tenor
Crucifixus Adagio baritone
Et resurrexit Allegro
Et in Spiritum Sanctum Tempo I
Et unam sanctam catholicam Larghetto
Et vitam venturi saeculi Andantino
Sanctus – Benedictus 3 min. 40 s Sanctus Andante
Benedictus Andantino baritone
Agnus Dei 2 min. 40 s Agnus Dei Andantino tenor, baritone


  • Alfonso Scarano (cond.), Aleš Briscein (tenor), Roman Janál (baritone), Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno, North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra Teplice, 2014
  • Martin Elmquist (cond.), Marcello Bedoni (tenor), Jeff Speres (baritone), Luxembourg Philarmonia, Classico, 2010
  • Karl Rathgeber [de] (cond.), Bernhard Schneider (tenor), Christian Schmidt-Timmermann (baritone), Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, 2006
  • Ingo Schulz (cond.), Daniel Magdal (tenor), Stefan Stoll (baritone), Ă–lberg chor, 2004
  • Pier Giorgio Morandi (cond.), Antonello Palombi (tenor), Gunnar Lundberg (baritone), Hungarian Opera Orchestra and Radio Choir, Naxos, 2002
  • JĂĽrgen Budday (cond.), Willi Stein (tenor), Thomas Pfeiffer (baritone), Kantorei Maulbronn (Choir), South West German Radio Baden-Baden and Freiburg Symphony Orchestra, K&K Verlagsanstalt, 2001
  • Antonio Pappano (cond.), Roberto Alagna (tenor), Thomas Hampson (baritone), London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Emi Classics, 2001
  • Wilfried Maier (cond.), Rolph Romei (tenor), Guillermo Anzorena (baritone), Schwäbischer Sängerbund, WĂĽrttembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen, 1999
  • Volker Hempfling [de] (cond.), Kölner Philarmoniker, Motette Records, 1995
  • András Ligeti (cond.), DĂ©nes Gulyas (tenor), Balazs Poka (baritone), ChĹ“urs de la Radio-TĂ©lĂ©vision Hongroise, Orchestre Symphonique de Budapest, Hungaroton Classic, 1992
  • Claudio Scimone (cond.), JosĂ© Carreras (tenor), Hermann Prey (baritone), The Ambrosian Singers Philharmonia Orchestra, Erato, 1984
  • Eliahu Inbal (cond.), Kari Løvaas (soprano),[2] Werner Hollweg (tenor), Barry McDaniel, Chor des Westdeutschen Rundfunks, Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt, Philips Classics, 1975
  • Michel Corboz (cond.), William Johns (tenor), Philippe Huttenlocher (baritone), ChĹ“ur symphonique et orchestre de la foundation Gulbenkian de Lisbonne, Erato, 1974



  1. ^ The mistaken title, Messa di Gloria, was first used in 1951 by the publishers of the first printed edition, Mills Music of New York. See Michele Girardi, Puccini: His International Art, University of Chicago Press, 2002, p. 17. ISBN 0-226-29757-8
  2. ^ Le solo des soprani du Qui tollis peccata mundi est ici chanté par une soprano solo.

Further sources