Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater (1736) has passed the test of time, so ungenerous to many other masterpieces of the Italian Baroque, in a completely unique way. From its origins, and long before the upheaval wrought in the musical world by early music enthusiasts, this composition has enjoyed everlasting success.

Until the French Revolution, it was performed during the famous Parisian concerts spirituels, while throughout the 19th century, it was also present both in the commentaries of experts and in the concert use. Then came a return to the sources and these were most fully explored by Vincent Dumestre with his ensemble Le Poème Harmonique. In addition to using historic instrumentation and playing techniques, he decided to reconstruct the context of the first Neapolitan performances of Stabat Mater. They were as distant as possible from those we normally listen to in the comfort of a concert hall. They were part of one of the great religious processions typical for Naples: the one organised on the occasion of the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary, celebrated at the time on the Friday before Palm Sunday. It took place in the extremely bustling atmosphere of the city with the participation of masses of the faithful. Pergolesi’s piece was intertwined with simpler, choral arrangements of Stabat Mater sung by the fraternities and – rather unexpectedly for us today in this context – folk tarantellas.



Rachel Redmond – soprano

Victoire Bunel – mezzo-soprano

Serge Goubioud, Hugues Primard – tenor

Emmanuel Vistorky – baritone


Le Poème Harmonique

Vincent Dumestre – conductor, artistic director



Stabat Mater


Mo’ è benuto il Giovedì santu (anonim)


Stabat Mater

(Manuscrit de Monopoli)

Francesco Durante (1684–1755)

Concerto per quartetto f-moll nr 1
( selected parts that do not affect the sacred space )

I. Un poco allegro

II. Allegro

III. Andante

IV. Amoroso

V. Allegro

Stabat Mater

(Manuscrit d’Ostuni)

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710–1736)

Stabat Mater

I. Stabat Mater dolorosa

II. Cujus animam gementem

III. O quam tristis et afflicta

IV. Quæ mœrebat et dolebat

V. Quis est homo

VI. Vidit suum dulcem natum

VII. Eja Mater, fons amoris

VIII. Fac, ut ardeat cor meum

IX. Sancta Mater, istud agas

X. Fac, ut portem Christi mortem

XI. Inflammatus et accensus

XII. Quando corpus morietur