Harmonia Early Music

Stabat Mater and Marian Cantatas

Marian music by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (Harmonia Mundi) and George Frideric Handel (Archiv Produktion).

men and women on a boat

Photo: Courtesy of the Ensemble

Members of the Akademie fuer Alte Musik Berlin.

Italian composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi is best remembered for the sacred work Stabat mater, a meditation on the Virgin Mary’s suffering during the Crucifixion. Although other works of Pergolesi’s are performed, his Stabat mater is by far the most popular, especially in the current year—Pergolesi was born three hundred years ago, a fact that has inspired many performances and recordings of the Stabat mater.

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi: “Salve Regina a due voci"
Anna Prohaska (sop), Bernarda Fink (alt), and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin — Stabat Mater (Harmonia Mundi, 2010)
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The Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin’s new Harmonia Mundi recording of the Stabat mater—with soprano Anna Prohaska and alto Bernarda Fink—is just stunning, as is the orchestral playing. The program also includes a Pergolesi Salve Regina and instrumental pieces by Antonio Vivaldi and Pietro Locatelli—all beautifully performed. If there’s one recording of the Stabat mater that is a must have, it’s this one.

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi: Stabat Mater, I. “Stabat mater dolorosa”
Anna Prohaska (sop), Bernarda Fink (alt), and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin — Stabat Mater (Harmonia Mundi, 2010)
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Musica Antiqua Cologne’s 1994 release with mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter of Handel’s Marian cantatas is a truly exciting recording. Directed by Reinhard Goebel, the ensemble performs in the intense and extroverted way for which they’ve always been known. Von Otter not only matches the ensemble’s intensity, but gives the kind of performance that stays with you long after you’ve put the recording away.

George Frideric Handel: “Donna, che in ciel,” HWV 233, Aria “Vacillò, per terror del primo errore”
Anne Sofie von Otter and Musica Antiqua Cologne/Reinhard Goebel — Marian Cantatas (Archiv Produktion , 1994)
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Giovanni Battista Pergolesi: “Salve Regina a due voci"
Anna Prohaska (sop), Bernarda Fink (alt), and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin — Stabat Mater (Harmonia Mundi, 2010)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi: Stabat Mater, I. “Stabat mater dolorosa”
Anna Prohaska (sop), Bernarda Fink (alt), and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin — Stabat Mater (Harmonia Mundi, 2010)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Pietro Locatelli: Concerto a 4 "Il Pianto d'Arianna": Andante-Allegro-Adagio-Andante-Allegro-Largo
Anna Prohaska (sop), Bernarda Fink (alt), and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin — Stabat Mater (Harmonia Mundi, 2010)
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album cover
George Frideric Handel: “Donna, che in ciel,” HWV 233, Aria “Vacillò, per terror del primo errore”
Anne Sofie von Otter and Musica Antiqua Cologne/Reinhard Goebel — Marian Cantatas (Archiv Produktion , 1994)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
George Frideric Handel: “Donna, che in ciel,” HWV 233, Aria “Sorga pure dall'orrido averno”
Anne Sofie von Otter and Musica Antiqua Cologne/Reinhard Goebel — Marian Cantatas (Archiv Produktion , 1994)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Bernard Gordillo

Bernard Gordillo was born in Managua, Nicaragua, and raised in New Orleans. He holds degrees from Centenary College of Louisiana, the Early Music Institute at Indiana University, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London). Bernard also writes and hosts the Harmonia Early Music Podcast.

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