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La Prière de Moïse is in fact a fantasy on various motifs from Rossini's opera Moïse, in particular the famous "Prayer" in Act 3. Offenbach and Rossini admired each other's works very much, despite Offenbach occasionally finding pleasure in parodying the music of his colleague, the creator of Wilhelm Tell. In fact, it was Rossini who was the first to call Offenbach the "little Mozart of the Champs-Elysées". La Prière de Moïse was first performed in May 1853 when Offenbach premiered his Opéra-comique Le Trésor à Mathuri, with Offenbach himself playing the cello part.

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