Immediately following Rossini's death in 1868, Verdi wrote to the publisher Ricordi, 'To honour Rossini's memory, I would very much like the best composers in Italy to write a requiem mass, which should be performed on the anniversary of Rossini's death'. Verdi's noble plan required each of the composers to contribute a movement, to be performed on the anniversary of Rossini's death in the church of San Petronio in Bologna. All was prepared for perfomance, but the political and cultural climate in the newly-unified Italy led to the project being abandoned. The music remained in the vaults of the Casa Ricordi until 1986 when the Messa per Rossini was rediscovered. The work was recreated and the public world premiere held in September 1988 as the closing performance at the European Music Festival in Stuttgart, conducted by Profesor Helmuth Rilling. This is a recording of the event, which took place at the Evangelische Stadtkirche in Ellwangen, Wurttemberg. The soloists are Gabriela Benackova, Florence Quivar, James Wagner, Alexandru Agache and Aage Haugland. Professor Rilling conducts the Gachinger Kantorei Stuttgart, the Prague Philharmonia Choir and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra. The DVD also includes a documentary, 'In Search of the Messa Per Rossini', following Verdi's efforts to create a lasting tribute to the composer he so much admired.