The ensemble L`Archibudelli and the cellist Anner Bylsma, together with the wonderful soprano Roberta Invernizzi, have once again recorded the exceptionally well-rehearsed Mass by Luigi Boccherini in a fantastic recording. Despite minimal use without choir and winds, the listener is captivated by the drama of each movement. Rberta Invernizzi brings out in a clear and fine voice every single twist of this interesting work and the string ensemble shines with powerful, gripping sound and wonderful slow movements. The Stabat Mater is supplemented by the String Quintet op. 42.
Boccherini wrote very little vocal music; however he left two settings of the Stabat mater. It was first set in 1781 for solo soprano and strings and then in 1800 for two sopranos and tenor, obviously influenced by the hugely-popular Pergolesi Stabat mater of 1736. There are many similarities in the notation and harmony—even the same key of F minor is used. The writing is of extraordinary individuality and seems to come straight from the heart. This unjustly neglected piece is surely one of the most remarkable sacred compostions of the era.
Emanuele d'Astorga was one of the most colourful figures in early eighteenth-century music and his life has often been the subject of legend rather than fact (brief details of which can be discovered in Robert King's illuminating booklet notes). During his life, Astorga was best known for his well-written and tuneful chamber cantatas (of which more than 150 survive) and his opera Dafni (only Act 1 now survives). But by far his most enduring work has proved to be this setting of the Stabat mater, his only surviving sacred composition. Throughout it we hear Astorga's gift for writing warm melodies, typical of the Neapolitan style of the time, and how he captures the melancholy of this most desolate of sacred texts.
Three contrasting versions of the 'Stabat Mater', all most attractive and all composed within 20 years, in the second half of the 18th century. These excellent performances under Daniel Cuiller's direction are also all first recordings - and for Abos and Gasparini, first entries in the CD catalogue. An enterprising release, of great interest.
Giovanni Gualberto Brunetti (1706 - 1787) lived a large part of his life in Pisa, Italy, where he was director of music of the cathedral. Though he composed operas as well as other works he composed mainly for the church. According to the musicologist Paolo Peretti his Stabat Mater was more or less copied , in 1825, by Antonio Brunetti, probably a nephew of his, who changed some things, replaced three sections by his own and sold it as his own work: "Stabat Mater all'imitazione del'esimio Sig.Pergolesi". From this we might conclude that in fact Giovanni Gualberto himself had already made an imitation of Pergolesi's. Especially the first four parts have indeed a strong resemblance. Nevertheless, though Giovanni took Pergolesi's as an example, his contribution to the music is such, that it surely can be regarded as a work of his own. In this respect it is interesting too, to notice that he used a different text than Pergolesi.
The new album by the Warsaw Philharmonic features music by eminent Polish composer Karol Szymanowski. His Litany to the Virgin Mary, Stabat Mater and Song of the Night were written between 1914 and 1933, which is considered to have been the most fruitful period in his creative life.