Author Topic: A benchmark Pergolesi Stabat Mater?  (Read 23049 times)

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Offline Bunny

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Re: A benchmark Pergolesi Stabat Mater?
« Reply #60 on: June 13, 2007, 12:54:53 PM »
Do you also request two female voices in this recommendation?   Even the most recent SACD version of this music has a male alto...but an excellent one nevertheless, Daniel Taylor.  The filler is likely the soprano version of BWV 82.

BACH: Psalm 51 (After Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater); Cantata 82 “Ich habe genug” - Karina Gauvin, soprano/Daniel Taylor, countertenor/Les Violons du Roy/Bernard Labadie - ATMA Multichannel SACD



However, as I stated above, it is far from unlikely for Bach to have staged his Pergolesi revision with a female soprano and a male alto.  Perhaps when the Bach version becomes as well known as the Pergolesi original, we will see recordings with two (sometimes very lush) female voices.  ;)

I have this recording and while it is quite fine, the period purists should be warned: Les Violons du Roy use modern instruments but with reproduction baroque bows and "period inspired" bowing.  I'm not sure whether their instruments are strung with gut or steel, but when I heard them perform, it didn't sound particularly gut-like.  Aside from that, it's a fine recording and Karina Gauvin and Daniel Taylor sing beatifully.  The Hengelbrock recording is on period instruments.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 12:58:32 AM by Que »

Offline Ciel_Rouge

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Re: A benchmark Pergolesi Stabat Mater?
« Reply #61 on: March 07, 2009, 06:17:56 PM »
I suppose the Kirkby/Bowman version at the beginning of the thread may now be more easily recognised by that cover:



Stabat Mater is only a small part of what is to be discovered regarding Pergolesi works. Any other favourite soprano/countertenor pairs for Stabat Mater than those already mentioned? Some non-countertenor perhaps?
« Last Edit: March 07, 2009, 06:26:44 PM by Ciel_Rouge »

Offline rubio

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Re: A benchmark Pergolesi Stabat Mater?
« Reply #62 on: April 10, 2009, 11:08:13 AM »
My first listen to Pergolesi's Stabat Mater - music which fits Easter very well. My only version and it's non-HIP. I find it beautiful and touching with involved singing from Berganza and Freni. What do you think of this version? Probably I should try a HIP-version as well. I see that they have Alessandrini at my local library :).

« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 11:10:46 AM by rubio »
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Offline jwinter

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Re: A benchmark Pergolesi Stabat Mater?
« Reply #63 on: April 10, 2009, 11:42:32 AM »
I think I may need to revisit this work as well, as I've recently been revisiting a lot of religious choral music.  I picked up a copy many years ago after being entranced by the small excerpt in the Amadeus soundtrack (back before I was collecting classical in any serious way).  That one was done with a boy's choir, and I still find it hauntingly beautiful.  The full CD I picked up at the time was Dutoit, which I haven't heard in years.  I'll have to dig it out this weekend...

The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Offline Coopmv

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Re: A benchmark Pergolesi Stabat Mater?
« Reply #64 on: April 11, 2009, 02:25:48 PM »
Don't really feel I am qualified to weigh in since the only version of this work I have is the version by Hogwood ...

Offline knight66

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Re: A benchmark Pergolesi Stabat Mater?
« Reply #65 on: April 11, 2009, 10:59:29 PM »
That Berganza and Freni version was my introduction to the work on LP. That was a long time ago and I have not heard it for over 20 years. I enjoyed it at the time. Berganza was an excellent singer, we hardly hear of her now. Her performances on disc get next to no attention.

This piece had an enormous circulation in the 18th cent, partly perhaps due to the early death of the composer. There are various performing editions, one has the chorus taking a number of the movements. There is an elderly and dim recording of Ferrier that uses this version. I have also heard the entire piece arranged for chorus.

It has been claimed as the most published piece of music in the 18th cent. In his extensive setting of Psalm 51, Bach uses Pergolesi's music pretty much untouched until the final bars of the setting. Here is a beautiful recording of that hybrid piece.



Much more than a mere curiosity. Rather a homage to a very beautiful work. It can become a wallow if taken too slowly, but it can become pedestrian if too fast and that means booting out one contender that ought to have been a strong one, Fabio Biondi with David Daniels. Biondi drives the whole thing as though his shirt tails were on fire. It destroys the repose and the contemplation that sits in the piece. The words are hardly given an opportunity to register. Daniel's has to move so quickly across the vocal lines that his tone is not permitted time to develop the emotion that sits at the heart of the piece.

It is a work that can yield to the relatively large or the small approach. I am listening right now to Abbado with a much pared down LSO and the juicy voices of Valentini Terrani and Margaret Marshall. Both are superb, not operatic, intimate. Of all the versions I know, no one opens the 'Quis est homo' as beautifully as Marshall; she was a specialist Mozart singer. This was recorded in 1985. Certainly not to be overlooked. Abbado keeps things moving along, without rushing and the orchestral colours are suitably dark.

At the other extreme in terms of scale, is the Alessandrini with Gemma Bertagnolli and Sara Mingardo. This is a real hair shirt version, one instrument to a part, stark in its approach. There is no cushion of sound. There is a plucked instrument in there and a tiny original instrumnet band. Interestingly, portamento is allowed. So this is not some clinical autopsy of the piece, but a very intimate and moving performance. As an aside, The setting by Pergolesi was commissioned by a brotherhood to replace one by Alesssandro Scarlatti that is also on this disc from Naive. I think this version uses as close to the original edition as can be found, so no wind parts.

More mainstream, perhaps more accessable is Christophe Rousset with Scholl and Barbara Bonney. Like the Abbado, we have use of an organ, the orchestral forces are more nourished than Alessandrini. Scholl's voice is less dark than Mingardo's. There is more obviously a blending of the two solo voices. There is the occasional grace note added at the ends of phrases in the vocal lines. It is a lovely version, though does not plumb the depths of the Mingardo one. The rhythms are more sprung here as against in the Alessandrini, where they are smoothed out somewhat. I don't prefer either way, they each work.

It is a really beautiful piece, melody after melody entice the ear, but it has a dark heart and a deal of emotional muscle that ought not to be overlooked and is not in the three versions above that I recommend.

Mike
« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 06:33:50 AM by knight »
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Offline Que

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Re: A benchmark Pergolesi Stabat Mater?
« Reply #66 on: April 11, 2009, 11:33:44 PM »
It is a really beautiful piece, melody after melody entice the ear, but it has a dark heart and a deal of emotional muscle that ought not to be overlooked and is not in the three versions above that I recommend.

Mike

Very much agree with that comment, Mike. And thanks for the fine and interesting write up. :)
Clearly an example of an old favourite that has suffered "prettyfication" in the past, at cost of its charcater and emotional intensity. When I first heard it he wondered what the big deal was all about - this being an all time favorite and all. I just found it a one dimensional drag... :-\ Can't remember which recording that was. I had Robert King for a while, but that is really too sweet as well.

My favourite recording is by Alessandrini, and the Bach adaptation- which is not to be passed over! :) - in the recording by Thomas Hengelbrock (HM, posted a few pages back)
 
Q
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Offline chasmaniac

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Re: A benchmark Pergolesi Stabat Mater?
« Reply #67 on: February 24, 2011, 09:09:31 AM »
Anyone familiar with the Roschmann/Labadie version on Dorian? I'm considering purchasing it.
If I have exhausted the justifications, I have reached bedrock and my spade is turned. Then I am inclined to say: "This is simply what I do."  --Wittgenstein, PI §217

Offline Coopmv

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Re: A benchmark Pergolesi Stabat Mater?
« Reply #68 on: February 24, 2011, 07:02:55 PM »
Anyone familiar with the Roschmann/Labadie version on Dorian? I'm considering purchasing it.

Don't know anything about the Roschmann/Labadie version on Dorian.  But I ordered a different version with Roschmann/Biondi on Virgin ...


Offline FideLeo

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Re: A benchmark Pergolesi Stabat Mater?
« Reply #69 on: February 24, 2011, 11:33:56 PM »
Have had in my collection the Veronique Gens/Gerard Lesne recording that has been recently re-released on the cheap.  Haven't listened to it for a while and faintly remember a rather judicious approach to this melodrama in sacred music.  i.e. hopping a bit in the supposedly intense parts but lilting enough in the more lyrical sections.  Also have the Robert King recording of which I remember even less. 

« Last Edit: February 24, 2011, 11:38:14 PM by mnemosyne »
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: A benchmark Pergolesi Stabat Mater?
« Reply #70 on: March 03, 2016, 03:13:50 AM »
Ordered a CD of Bloch's 'Schelomo' and 'Voice in the Wilderness' which I received yesterday. Just put it on the CD player and thought that it sounded most unlike Bloch's usual style. This was explained when I looked at the CD which featured Pergolesi's 'Stabat Mater'! Having said that I am pleased to have discovered this beautiful work, written, apparently, in the composer's final days when he was dying of TB in a monastery - which makes it even more extraordinary.
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Re: A benchmark Pergolesi Stabat Mater?
« Reply #71 on: March 03, 2016, 03:37:04 AM »
June Anderson in this version of Pergolesi Stabat Mater is fabulous.  Just for her, you should listen to this Utube excerpt
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIvO0sATcks

The cover of the CD is this one




« Last Edit: March 03, 2016, 03:38:44 AM by Spineur »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: A benchmark Pergolesi Stabat Mater?
« Reply #72 on: March 03, 2016, 04:05:59 AM »
June Anderson in this version of Pergolesi Stabat Mater is fabulous.  Just for her, you should listen to this Utube excerpt
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIvO0sATcks

The cover of the CD is this one


Thank you. It says 'video not available' here but I'll look out for the CD.
PS just bought it for under £3.00.  :)
« Last Edit: March 03, 2016, 04:09:18 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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Re: A benchmark Pergolesi Stabat Mater?
« Reply #73 on: November 05, 2016, 10:10:54 AM »
Very little love for Abbado/DG here, mostly HIP recordings have been preferred. I´d take that Abbado, however.

Offline knight66

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Re: A benchmark Pergolesi Stabat Mater?
« Reply #74 on: November 05, 2016, 10:29:18 AM »
I have not looked back, but I might well have recommended the earlier Abbado, which is a little bit of a wallow. It has two wonderful singers, Valantini-Terrani and Margaret Marshall. The latter is especially fine and creamy, she floats the phrases. An under-remembered singer.

Mike
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Offline KevinP

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Re: A benchmark Pergolesi Stabat Mater?
« Reply #75 on: November 09, 2016, 10:15:46 PM »
Abbado was my first one and it served well, introducing me to the work and becoming a benchmark in that sense.

I recently bought, not the work per se but a 14-disc Kathleen Ferrier box which included it, easily the oldest recording I've heard as it's from 1946. What makes this unusual is that some movements, including that beautiful opening one, feature a chorus instead of solo singers. A chorus of sopranos (singing in unison) and a chorus of altos (ditto). I have four or five recordings, and when I played this one and the chorus came in, I had to back up the CD to make sure I was hearing it correctly.

Wikipedia says some later composers added chorus parts, but I think this is the original version, just with the two melody lines unHIPly given to a chorus.

Offline knight66

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Re: A benchmark Pergolesi Stabat Mater?
« Reply #76 on: November 09, 2016, 10:58:48 PM »
I have that recording, it is not one that I listen to at all often, despite Ferrier. I don't much care for the use of a choir. I have heard it live done like this but accompanied by piano. The sound from the Ferrier recording is a bit muddy.

Mike
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Offline KevinP

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Re: A benchmark Pergolesi Stabat Mater?
« Reply #77 on: November 10, 2016, 01:38:17 AM »
yeah, it's by no means bad, but I'll probably never reach for it when I want to hear this work.