Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
One of the most poignant works in the sacred repertoire, fuelled by three centuries of legends
While the Stabat Mater is definitely authentic, unlike the many apocryphal works attributed to Pergolesi after his death, very little is known about how it evolved. This poignant piece by a musician who died tragically at the age of 26 gave rise to a legend comparable to that surrounding Mozart's Requiem. Tradition has it that the composer finished it on his death bed. The reality would appear to be less "romantic". The piece was very widely printed and performed in the eighteenth century, and its fame contributed greatly to the composer's posthumous glory. With its arias and duets, all deeply moving, the work is constructed in the purest Italian cantata style.