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Classical - Released February 28, 2020 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet
Longstanding partners Sandrine Piau and Christophe Rousset have frequently performed the Stabat Mater, an emblematic work of the eighteenth-century Neapolitan repertory, both together and with other musicians. It was therefore a natural step for them to record this supreme masterpiece of sacred music. They are joined here by a relative newcomer to Les Talens Lyriques who has also become a regular partner with the ensemble, the American countertenor Christopher Lowrey. The programme is completed by a Beatus vir by Leonardo Leo (1694-1744), sung by Christopher Lowrey, and a Salve Regina for soprano (Sandrine Piau) by Nicola Porpora (1686-1768), two totally unknown works by two composers who were nevertheless very famous at the time – Porpora, for example, was Farinelli’s singing teacher and mentor to the youthful Haydn. Christophe Rousset finds in this music ‘an expression of very Mediterranean, very highly flavoured piety, in which one moves from tears to laughter quite quickly’. Sandrine Piau sees in Leo ‘an elegance of style, a certain distance in sorrow’. © Alpha Classics

Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released November 1, 2013 | Warner Classics International

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio

Sacred Vocal Music - Released March 11, 2013 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles Classica - Qobuzissime - Hi-Res Audio

Masses, Passions, Requiems - Released July 31, 2007 | harmonia mundi

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography

Classical - Released January 1, 1999 | Decca Music Group Ltd.


Classical - Released August 1, 2016 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica

Classical - Released September 28, 2009 | Warner Classics

Among the dozens or perhaps hundreds of available recordings of Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, a subgroup of recent ones has emphasized its very operatic style. Within this group, performers have gone in various directions, but a single one is represented here: sheer vocal beauty of a sort that just doesn't come along every day. The vocal line trumps the dramatic meaning of the text here, but the duets between soprano Véronique Gens and countertenor Gérard Lesne are so gorgeous that you just won't care. Highlights are hard to select, but they are freely sprinkled as well through the Salve Regina in F minor for alto, strings, and continuo; hear the opening movement, with the passages in which Lesne gets to display his dark copper lower register. In the Stabat Mater itself, there are more fiery readings of the Fac ut ardeat cor meum section (track 8), but few more agonizingly delectable versions of the climactic Quando corpus morietur (track 12); Gens and Lesne begin the duet with an almost total lack of vibrato and introduce it in steps, with overwhelming effect. The small ensemble Il Seminario Musicale, directed by Lesne, is a supple instrument that keeps the focus on the singers. The short cello trio sonata at the end has the effect of winding down what is really an intense vocal experience. Notes are in English, French, and German; no texts are included, but they will be at the fingertips of even a novice Internet user. At a budget price, this is a must. © TiVo

Sacred Vocal Music - Released March 9, 2018 | Arcana

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason découverte
Why yes, even now, in the 21st century, there are still some works by Pergolesi which are yet to be recorded! It's hard to believe that these works have been neglected for three hundred years; it's almost as if his tremendously famous Stabat Mater had thrust the rest of this composer's ample output into the shade! But here they are: these two religious works date from the end of his tragically short life, from 1730 to his death six years later. Remarkably, his Mass in D Major from 1732 or 33 (the era of La Serva padrona) was written for two choirs and two orchestras, a deliberately stereophonic effect which is very well-executed in terms of the spatial distribution of the sound and the music. But that doesn't keep the composer from deploying all the dynamic options at his disposal, rather than taking the mass as an excuse to just blast away. As for the motet Dignas laudes resonemus, it is a great Neapolitan concert motet: a monumental form, which here also uses a double choir and two distinct orchestras. The score had been lost until some contemporary orchestral material resurfaced which made it possible to reconstruct the entire work. Here we discover a more lyrical side of Pergolesi, who, let us not forget, composed ten operas, and had he not died at 26, would have surely composed dozens more pieces of even greater quality. © SM/Qobuz

Choral Music (Choirs) - Released November 25, 2005 | Warner Classics


Classical - Released January 1, 1989 | Decca Music Group Ltd.


Classical - Released January 1, 1985 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)


Sacred Vocal Music - Released September 8, 2015 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
The notes to this release by the innovative French ensemble Le Poème Harmonique and its director Vincent Dumestre explain a good deal about its philosophy and genesis. But what they don't explain is why the recording, made in 2000, took until late 2015 to be released. Possibly it was just the sheer novelty of the thing: the title Pergolesi: Stabat Mater; Marian Music from Naples fails to communicate what's going on here and how unusual it is. Briefly, Dumestre and his musicians investigate the links between Pergolesi's style and the popular music that surrounded it in Naples. This is not in itself a completely new idea, but the situation in Naples was especially interesting in at least two respects. The traditions investigated here continue to the present day, for one thing, in the performance of the Stabat Mater melody in improvised polyphony heard in village processions in some parts of modern Italy. For another, these traditions were sometimes notated, and you get a sample of what they sounded like in the anonymous Stabat Mater à 3 (track 3). As prelude to the main attraction the Stabat Mater is here inflected through chant, a tarantella, and the rudimentary polyphony of the Monopoli Manuscript piece mentioned above; there is also a concerto by Durante that is less directly related to the Pergolesi work. All of these leave their mark on the Pergolesi Stabat Mater itself. It has a quiet organ-and-theorbo continuo (no harpsichord) that allows intense contrasts to emerge in the voices and main instruments. Thankfully, and contrary to current fashion, there is a choir of children, which was manifestly the way the work was sung at Versailles in its own time. Most striking are the solo voices, vibrato free and almost raw. Beautifully recorded by Alpha, this is a unique perspective on one of the most famous Baroque works. © TiVo

Classical - Released November 7, 1996 | Arion


Sacred Vocal Music - Released October 1, 2005 | Mirare


Classical - Released June 16, 2011 | Autoeditados


Classical - Released January 1, 2011 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
Baroque music is not the usual province of soprano Anna Netrebko, or contralto Marianna Pizzolato, or conductor Antonio Pappano, or the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma, so the listener might approach this tribute to the 300th anniversary of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi with some skepticism, but the performers do a terrific job. The orchestra uses modern instruments, so this is never going to be mistaken for a recording by Baroque specialists, but everyone involved approaches the challenge with such sensitivity and such evident excitement that listeners who don't demand absolute adherence to cutting-edge developments in early music practice are likely to be swept up. Netrebko is in fine voice, but some of the music lies low for her, and there are few opportunities for high-flying virtuosic vocal display, so this album is probably not the best introduction to her gifts. The intensely focused and deeply felt characterizations for which she is known are here, though, and serve the music well. Contralto Marianna Pizzolato actually makes a stronger impression because the music is beautifully situated for her warm, earthy, passionately expressive voice. Netrebko and Pizzolato sound fabulous together; in their duets in the Stabat mater each maintains the distinctiveness of her personality but their blend is gorgeous and conveys the depth of their connection in witnessing and describing a profound tragedy. The live recording was made at the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus (which was originally a railroad station), a hall large enough to seat 2,500 people. Its spacious resonance is for the most part conducive to the music, but at the end of some movements, the penultimate chord is still hanging around when the final chord is sounded, to dissonant effect. © TiVo

Classical - Released January 1, 1995 | naïve classique


Classical - Released October 20, 2006 | Warner Classics


Classical - Released November 18, 2010 | harmonia mundi