Sunday, 12 January 2014

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi

Too many composers died young: Purcell, Mozart, Bellini and Schubert in their mid-30s, Guillaume Lekeu when only 24, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi when only 26. I have just been listening to a new recording of Pergolesi's Stabat Mater; what a masterpiece, completed just before his death from tuberculosis. A new recording features Julia Lezhneva (my current favourite baroque soprano) and Philippe Jaroussky (one of the very few counter-tenors I find entirely acceptable). With I Barocchisti in the background (Pergolesi's orchestral band does not have a major part as it would have done with Bach or Handel) this recording should end up as a modern classic. And the music is sublime.

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