With: Chris Mostert (tenor), Walter Fourie (tenor), Lizette Vosloo (violin), Ludwig Steyl (violin), Tessa Olivier (viola), Nicola Johannes (cello)
Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater is one of the most famous compositions ever written in praise of Mary. The text dates from the medieval era, and describes Mary, the sorrowful mother, witnessing the suffering of her Son from the base of the cross. Commissioned by the Most Noble Order of the Knights of Our Lady of Sorrows in Naples for performance during devotional services on each Friday of Lent, Pergolesi’s setting replaced a Stabat Mater by Alessandro Scarlatti that had been performed in Naples for twenty years, and had become outdated. The significance of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, however, extends far beyond the ecclesiastical tradition for which it was originally intended. Here is a moving, profoundly human picture of a grieving mother.