Giovanni Baptista Pergolese (1710-1736).

This composer, of napolitan origin, stood out as many of his  homeland natives, for his operatic creations, that in Naples had a very specific form, that of "opera buffa", although he also composed some few instrumental works, and others religious. Owner of great melodic and harmonic mastery and counterpoint ability, Pergolesi's creations are of great beauty and sentimental expressivity (especially in his "Stabat Mater")

In 1731, when Pergolesi was only twenty one, he premiered in the Theater of San Bartolomeo his most famous opera, "La Serva Padrona". Everafter, he attained great success, and on the 4th October 1746 his opera was premiered in Paris, with great success, not unexpectedly: the plot is simple amusing and light, and the music is a peek point of napolitan opera, with riche recitatives, and light charming arias of great quality.

His most important work, however remains the "Stabat Mater" , that according to a 19th century legend (very unlikely, though) was his last work, premiered just before his death. The "Stabat Mater" as his most performed work  and the one that really had lasting european success, and spread the name of the then already dead composer. The text is that of the latin vulgate, about the pain of the Holy Virgin, beneath the cross. It is a sequence of frightful and pious melodies, with a sublime approach to the soprano and alto voices, and was subsequently transcribed extensively, by composers such as Bach himself.

Pergolesi's life, though short, was fruitful: with two master-pieces, "La Serva Padrona" and he "Stabat Mater", he made a musical revolution, and ever since his name as been engraved with golden letters in the pages of the history of music.

 

G.B.Pergolese: Stabat Mater (Amen)

 

Reccomended recordings:

"La Serva Padrona": Elsa Saque, António Wagner Diniz, Orquestra Clássica do Porto, direcção  de Manuel Ivo Cruz.      

"Stabat Mater": June Anderson, Cecilia Bartoli, Sinfonietta de Montréal, Charles Dutoit, Decca.

"Lo Frate Inamorato": D.V.D edited  by the "Teatro La Scala", in Milão.

 

 

                                    

Libretto of  "Il Prigioner Superbo"                   Autograph de "Il progioner Superbo"                         The first programm for "La Serva Padrona"

 

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