Rossini - Stabat Mater
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Cat No: 6405292
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 1st November 2010
Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Born in 1792 in the small Italian seaside town of Pesaro, which now holds an annual festival of his operas, Rossini grew up in a musical household. Over the ensuing years, Rossini went on to become one of the most commercially successful operatic composers of his generation, with such enduring masterpieces as Il barbiere di Siviglia, La Cenerentola, Semiramide and William Tell among the thirty–nine operas to his name.
Despite the heavy demands of his operatic career, Rossini was still able to find some time to undertake commissions of a non-operatic nature. Supreme among these was to be the Stabat Mater. “I would say that the Stabat Mater - the picture of the Virgin Mary standing below the crucifix watching her son die and this beautiful set of prayers or scene setting is sublimely put to music by Rossini.” says Maestro Pappano. “The drama of any kind of situation dealing with death and suffering, is in Italian hands always operatic but there’s a gentle side to the piece, it’s very beautiful. It certainly went on to influence other composers in this genre - Verdi of course must have known this work. It’s a piece that I have performed often with my group here, the chorus and the orchestra, but I have a set of soloists here that are just magnificent. Anna Netrebko, Joyce DiDonato, Lawrence Brownlee and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, I mean it’s a dream team.”
Rossini never had ambitions of writing a major religious work, especially a setting of the Stabat Mater, Pergolesi’s setting of which he greatly admired. It was during a visit to Spain in 1831 that he was persuaded to write the work for the private chapel of Don Manuel Fernandez Varela, the powerful prelate of Madrid. The successful premiere, in Paris, of Rossini’s complete work took place on 7 January 1842, and its Italian premiere (two months later) was conducted by Rossini’s friend Donizetti.
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