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Scarlatti: Stabat Mater / Kirkby, Taylor, et al

Album Summary

>Scarlatti, Alessandro : Stabat Mater, for soprano, alto, 2 violins & continuo
>Scarlatti, Alessandro : Sonata for flute, 2 violins, cello & continuo no 4 in A minor
Performer Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This is a recording of a relatively rare version of the Stabat Mater by the most famous opera composer of the day, Alessandro Scarlatti. This labels releases of Baroque and early music have been among the most significant in recent years. The participation of Emma Kirkby on this recording is a real feather in Atmas cap!

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Alessandro Scarlatti's celebrated Stabat mater was commissioned by a confraternity of aristocrats, the Cavalieri della Vergine dei Dolori, for its annual Lenten service at the Franciscan church of San Luigi in Naples. It remained in use until the confraternity commissioned Pergolesi to compose his famous setting to supplant Scarlatti's old-fashioned music. Both Pergolesi and Scarlatti composed for limited resources, each using two solo voices, two violins and basso continuo. Scarlatti's setting is by no means inferior to Pergolesi's but remains much less familiar, despite several excellent recordings.

This ATMA recording boasts a beautifully captured atmospheric sound, with the perfect amount of reverberation. Daniel Taylor gives an understated and gentle performance. His solos, especially the longest movement, 'Iuxta crucem tecum stare', are the best elements of a performance that is spiritually contemplative rather than dramatic, although the final 'Amen' duet contains dynamic energy.

Although Emma Kirkby's attention to text and style is as admirable as ever, she does not sound at ease and compensates for the loss of clarity by under-singing. Her voice is pinched and vulnerable in some of the divisions during 'Fac ut ardeat'. The Theatre of Early Music excellently capture the contrasts and subtleties in Scarlatti's instrumental parts.


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Works Details

>Scarlatti, Alessandro : Stabat Mater, for soprano, alto, 2 violins & continuo
  • Performer: Emma Kirkby (Soprano)
  • Ensemble: Theatre of Early Music
  • Notes: St. Jude-on-the-Hill Church, London, England (08/26/2003-08/29/2003)
  • Running Time: 37 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Scarlatti, Alessandro : Sonata for flute, 2 violins, cello & continuo no 4 in A minor
  • Ensemble: Theatre of Early Music
  • Running Time: 9 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1725