Theatre of Early Music - Alessandro Scarlatti: Stabat Mater (2014)
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Theatre of Early Music - Alessandro Scarlatti: Stabat Mater (2014)

Artist: Theatre of Early Music
Title Of Album: Alessandro Scarlatti: Stabat Mater
Year Of Release: 2014
Label: Ricercar / RIC258
Genre: Classical Music, Choral
Total Time: 63:47 min
Format: Mp3 / FLAC (tracks)
Quality: CBR 320 kbps / Lossless
Total Size: 157 mb / 238 mb (Digital Booklet)
Review by James Manheim
This quiet, circumspect, yet oddly moving recording of Alessandro Scarlatti's Stabat Mater is as far as can be imagined from the intense fireworks of another contemporary recording of the work, that led by conductor Rinaldo Alessandrini on the Naïve label. Soprano Emma Kirkby, countertenor Daniel Taylor, and the Montreal-based Theatre of Early Music (a period-instrument group founded by Taylor) tread catlike through the work, which was written some years before Pergolesi's more famous Stabat Mater setting but was commissioned by the same Italian religious order. The Scarlatti work, more than Pergolesi's, is full of quasi-operatic devices -- pregnant pauses, dissonant "sighs," and, in the final "Amen," some heady vocal acrobatics. In this performance everything is kept to a very quiet level, which may seem inappropriate to Scarlatti's basically theatrical language. Kirkby and Taylor are highly sensitive interpreters, however, and they work together (in the work's four luscious duets) and separately to bring out dissonances and unusual phrase shapes that get lost in a bigger interpretation. Kirkby does not have the absolute clarity of voice that she once did, but she has not lost any of her ability to bring quiet tension to a melodic line.
This chamber-sized Scarlatti Stabat Mater might have worked very well in a pairing with the more intimate Pergolesi work, but instead we get the Concerto XXI for flute, strings, and continuo, a little-known work. The intentions of the album are nowhere more clearly revealed than in the decision to replace the transverse flute with Francis Colpron's recorder -- usually it's done the other way around, but the quiet, conversational tone of the recorder and its ability to slide around the center of a consonance as needed fit what this ensemble is trying to do. One might wish for a new recording of the Stabat Mater by Cecilia Bartoli, a Scarlatti interpreter who can combine detail and athleticism, but for now this very expressive performance is worth checking out.
TRACKLIST:
01. Vox Luminis - Te Deum laudamus pour deux choeurs et basse continue: I. Te Deum Laudamus [03:05]
02. Vox Luminis - Te Deum laudamus pour deux choeurs et basse continue: II. Te ergo quaesumus [03:25]
03. Vox Luminis - Salve Regina pour soprano, alto et basse continue: I. Salve Regina (Adagio) [02:07]
04. Vox Luminis - Salve Regina pour soprano, alto et basse continue: II. Ad te clamamus (Moderato) [01:24]
05. Vox Luminis - Salve Regina pour soprano, alto et basse continue: III. Eja ergo (Moderato) [00:52]
06. Vox Luminis - Salve Regina pour soprano, alto et basse continue: IV. Et Jesum benedictum (Adagio) [01:45]
07. Vox Luminis - Salve Regina pour soprano, alto et basse continue: V. O Clemens (Adagio) [01:56]
08. Vox Luminis - Sonate in D Minor, Kk. 417 [06:06]
09. Vox Luminis - Stabat Mater pour dix voix et basse continue: I. Stabat Mater dolorosa [03:03]
10. Vox Luminis - Stabat Mater pour dix voix et basse continue: II. Cujus animam gementem [04:23]
11. Vox Luminis - Stabat Mater pour dix voix et basse continue: III. Quis non posset [02:40]
12. Vox Luminis - Stabat Mater pour dix voix et basse continue: IV. Eja mater, fons amoris [01:50]
13. Vox Luminis - Stabat Mater pour dix voix et basse continue: V. Sancta Mater, istud agas [03:04]
14. Vox Luminis - Stabat Mater pour dix voix et basse continue: VI. Fac me vere tecum flere [00:52]
15. Vox Luminis - Stabat Mater pour dix voix et basse continue: VII. Juxta crucem [01:53]
16. Vox Luminis - Stabat Mater pour dix voix et basse continue: VIII. Inflammatus et accensus [03:05]
17. Vox Luminis - Stabat Mater pour dix voix et basse continue: IX. Fac ut animae donetur paradisi gloria - Amen [03:51]
18. Vox Luminis - Sonate pour orgue in B Minor, Kk. 87 [06:31]
19. Vox Luminis - Miserere (Quatre voix) [11:46]
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