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Strona Główna Muzyka Klasyczna Steffani Agostino Agostino Steffani - Stabat Mater (2013)

Agostino Steffani - Stabat Mater (2013)

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Agostino Steffani - Stabat Mater (2013)

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Stabat Mater
01. I. Stabat Mater dolorosa
02. II. Cujus animan gementem
03. III. Quis est homo qui non fleret
04. IV. Pro peccatis suae gentis
05. V. Vidit suum dulcem Natum
06. VI. Eja Mater, fons amoris
07. VII. Fac me vere tecum flere
08. VIII. Virgo virginum preclara
09. IX. Fac, ut portem Christi mortem
10. X. Fac me plagis vulnerari
11. XI. Inflammatus et accensus
12. XII. Quando corpus morietur

13. Beatus vir
14. Non plus me ligate
15. Triduanas a Domino
16. Laudate pueri
17. Sperate in Deo
18. Qui diligit Mariam

Cecilia Bartoli - soprano
Nuria Rial - soprano
Yetzabel Arias Fernandez - soprano
Elena Carzaniga - mezzo-soprano
Franco Fagioli - countertenor
Daniel Behle - tenor
Julian Pregardien - tenor
Salvo Vitale - bass

Coro della Radiotelevisione svizzera, Lugano
I Barocchisti
Diego Fasolis – conductor


Agostino Steffani, roughly contemporary with Arcangelo Corelli, worked mostly in Germany and was known across the continent for his operatic music. Some of it was championed by mezzo soprano Cecilia Bartoli on her daring Mission album. Now Bartoli, properly more in the background as part of a sacred-music ensemble, returns with an album of Steffani's religious music, for which he was equally renowned. She joins a group of fine soloists, many of whom will be familiar to early music devotees and quite worthy of the broader audience association with Bartoli and the major Decca label will bring. The vigorous instrumental ensemble I Barocchisti, its leader Diego Fasolis, and the commendably sizable Swiss Radio Choir are all top-notch. As for the music itself, the six sacred pieces (psalms, antiphons, motets) that conclude the album give the best idea of the diversity of Steffani's style. Some are partly in the pure Palestrina traditional unaccompanied choral style; some are in the Italian style of the middle 17th century with grand oppositions of choral groups; and some reflect up-to-the-minute solo vocal writing. Bartoli fans will naturally gravitate toward an example of the latter, Non plus me ligate (track 9), and it's gorgeous. But Bartoli, whose voice has taken on some fascinating burnished tones that she is allowed to let speak for themselves here, is also featured prominently in the main attraction, the Stabat Mater, which stands somewhat apart from the rest of the music and fell into disuse soon after Steffani's death, probably because it was already somewhat old-fashioned. But it is old-fashioned in the way that Bach's music is old-fashioned. Like Pergolesi's setting of this somber text, it was the composer's swan song, written at the end of his long life, and it is a tragic work indeed. It might be beautifully paired in performance with the Pergolesi work. Bartoli and her gorgeous lower register have plenty to do, but the spotlight at the end falls on the male soloists, Daniel Behle, Julian Prégardien, and Salvo Vitale, whose trio work is positively sepulchral. This is a gorgeous performance of a work unjustly neglected by music history. Highly recommended. ---James Manheim, AllMusic Review

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