This recording attempts to recreate a historic performance of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, one heard by Charles de Brosses, an important figure in eighteenth century French cultural life who visited Naples in 1739. It opens with an intonation of the Stabat Mater chant, followed by an anonymous Tarantella on the Stabat Mater, an anonymous three-voice setting of the Stabat Mater, an instrumental concerto by Francesco Durante (that may or may not have anything to do with the Stabat Mater), a plainchant hymn setting of the Stabat Mater, and -- finally -- a climactic performance of Pergolesi's masterpiece. As a concept it is already interesting, but the recording doesn't rest on those laurels. Olivier Schneebeli leading Les Pages & Les Chantres de la Chappelle and Le Poème Harmonique with soloists Patrizia Bovi, Pino de Vittorio, and Bernard Arrieta, deliver a wonderful reading of the entire program, one that is gratifyingly attentive to the non-headlining works. Ranging from doleful austerity to passionately dramatic, thier work is immersive and creates a true sense of place and occasion. Alpha's sound is transparent and luxurious.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Concerto No. 4 in E minor|
|Stabat mater, for soprano, alto, strings & organ in F major|