Leo, Porpora, Pergolesi

Stabat Mater

Leonardo Leo (1694 – 1744)
Beatus vir qui timet (s.d.)

Nicola Porpora (1686 – 1768)
Salve Regina in G Major (1726-1733)

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710 – 1736)
Stabat Mater, P. 77 (1736)


Soprano : Sandrine Piau
Alto : Christopher Lowrey
Les Talens Lyriques

Direction : Christophe Rousset

So dear to Christope Rousset’s heart, the Neapolitan School appears here as a chosen “snapshot” of sacred Naples at the beginning of the XVIIIth century, unveiling itself through its most beautiful music, emblematic or unheard of.

On CD, Les Talens Lyriques have already issued a referential recording of the Stabat Mater by Pergolesi (1710-1736), in which purity and sensuality compete with each other. Now they are releasing a new version of this chef d’oeuvre of the repertory, calling for two voices mixed together, that of the soprano Sandrine Piau, and that of the countertenor Christopher Lowrey. The lamentation of a mother, so much a recurrent theme in baroque art, was so beautifully musically set, that the work is in the artistic Pantheon, ever since its first performance.

To this hymn we are adding two pieces rediscovered and recorded by Les Talens Lyriques: a Beatus vir qui timet by Leo for countertenor, as well as a Salve Regina by Porpora for soprano. Two great masters of Italian opera, Leonardo Leo (1694-1744) and Nicola Porpora (1686-1768),have not left behind less magnificent sacred music, oratorios and motets. These two unearthed manuscripts, contemporary with Pergolesi’s chef d’oeuvre are of enormous expressiveness, delicate but asserted.