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The Petite messe solennelle is unique in sacred music and is impossible to imitate or improve upon. Using only keyboards for the instrumental parts proves surprisingly effective and the solo pianoforte is particularly outstanding in the remarkable Prélude which combines Bach-like chromaticism with early hints of Impressionism or in the long introductions and postludes where it assumes a leading role, becoming the fifth soloist in the score. The writing for the solo voices however reverts to Rossini's operatic vein and makes considerable demands on the singers.