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 in the church of San Petronio in Bologna. All was prepared for performance 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 and was recreated at the public world premiere held in 1988 at the closing performance of the European Music Festival in Stuttgart. The DVD also includes a documentary focusing on Verdi's efforts to create a lasting tribute to the composer he so much admired.