The French violinist and composer Jean-Baptiste Cartier once said: ‘If God wanted to speak to man through music, he would do so through the works of Haydn; if he wished to listen to music himself, he would choose the works of Boccherini.’ Often considered the finest Italian composer of the Classical era, Luigi Boccherini was not party to the Viennese school of music which was in vogue at the time, and therefore his compositions retain that unmistakable Italian flair, but with modest and subtle brilliance.
His Stabat Mater – written in 1781 and scored for small forces of just soprano and strings – exudes elegance and beauty. While bearing the influence of the Stabat Mater of Pergolesi from 45 years earlier, Boccherini’s composition often delves into the realms of the operatic, thanks to arias such as the passionate and dramatic ‘Quis est homo’ and the agile ‘Cujus animam gementem’.
The Stabat Mater is sung by Italian soprano Barbara Vignudelli, international performer and prizewinner, widely acclaimed for her interpretations of both sacred music and opera. She is joined by the musicians of the Orchestra da Camera ‘Benedetto Marcello’, which is directed by Flavio Emilio Scogna.
- That Luigi Boccherini is not the composer of “pretty and harmless tunes” is shown by his Stabat Mater, a dramatic and eloquent musical setting of the lament of Mary at the Cross. Long in the shadow of its predecessor by Pergolesi, Boccherini’s Stabat Mater has moments of the most intimate beauty and heartfelt sorrow.
- Sung by the great Italian soprano Barbara Vignudelli and the Orchestra da Camera Benedetto Marcello conducted by Flavio Emilio Scogna.
- The booklet contains notes on the composer and the music and the sung texts.