– G. Verdi: Stabat mater – G. Verdi: Te Deum – G. Rossini: Stabat mater
Maria Agresta (soprano), Sarah Connolly (mezzo soprano), Michael Schade (tenor), Dmitry Belosselsky (bass), MDR Rundfunkchor, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, direction: Michele Mariotti
The history of Stabat Mater settings is long and rich in musical gems. When Rossini in Naples heard a performance of Pergolesi’s final work, the most famous setting of the text, he is said to have announced in awe that he would never dare set the text to music. He did, however, and in his version, Rossini uses the musical expression of opera. Giuseppe Verdi ended his career as a composer with the two major vocal works, Stabat Mater and Te Deum. Besides Rossini’s popular version, he probably knew both Palestrina’s and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. Verdi’s own setting gives the impression of passion compressed into the tightest of spaces – dramatic outbursts stand side by side with hushed meditation, the expression of utmost pain with hymnic jubilation.