The last years
In the summer 1838, during the long period of dismissal authorized by the king of Prussia, Spontini went to England where he was welcomed with great honours at the court of Queen Victoria, for whom he wrote some cantatas. He went then to Paris and finally to Italy. On October 30th he reached Jesi and stayed there for forty days, starting the institutions of a pawnsbroker’s for Jesi’s and Maiolati’s indigents with the donation of 30 000 francs. During his permanence in Jesi, Spontini had some conversations with Cardinal Ostini, archbishop of Jesi, to which followed Cardinal’s issuing of the edict “against the abuse of theatrical music introduced in churches” (November 27th, 1838).
Spontini studied deeply the matter up to compile a vast and organic plan of reform of the church music that culminated in the Report about the Reform of sacred music (1839). Gaspare Spontini cared a lot about his theoretical work and, tirelessly, he did not stop promoting it and regretting Pio IX’s decision, in 1847, to entrust other people with the reform of the desecrated religious church music. In 1847 he concluded his artistic activity with the conduction of the Olimpie at the Musical Festival of the Lower Rhine in the city of Cologne.
Spontini, together with his consort, reached Jesi in 1850, welcomed with great honours and celebrations; from Jesi he went to Maiolati, to not leave it again. On January 24th 1851 Gaspare Spontini died in Celeste’s arms at the age of 76 years, because of pulmonary complications. His body, in the winter uniform of Academician of France, was laid in Saint Stephen’s Church of Maiolati, waiting to be moved to the sepulchre in S. Giovanni’s Church, as he wished.