In 1976, Barbara Hendricks discovered the Pergolesi Stabat Mater when she performed it on a last-minute replacement engagement in Paris. Though impressed with the work, she never sang it again before programming it in 2007 during concerts in Morocco and in France.
Since then, it has become a mainstay of her concert repertoire which she has performed from Sweden to Japan. Since the time of its creation in 1735, Pergolesi's last work has been considered an emblem for perfection and the expressive beauty of 18th- century Italian music. It assured the composer an immediate posthumous reputation which inaugurated the myth of the young, genius musician who died too young.
On the eve of the tercentenary of his birth in 2010, Barbara Hendricks, accompanied by Ulrika Tenstam and the DBE, have recorded his Stabat Mater, together with the exquisite chamber cantata Orfeo, in which recitative precedes two magnificent arias, revealing Pergolesi to be a fine composer of opera.
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