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Stabat Mater Concert

  • All Saints' Episcopal Church 100 Rex Drive River Ridge, LA, 70123 United States (map)

Paul Christian presents:

Giovanni Batista Pergolesi's (1710-1736)

Stabat Mater

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi was an Italian composer of the early eighteenth century. Although he died at the young age of 26, his work has influenced generations of composers, from Johann Sebastian Bach to musicians today. Pergolesi, a student of Gaetano Greco and Francesco Durante, was one of the greatest composers of the Neapolitan school of classical music. While later musical movements in Germany and Austria have traditionally received more attention from mainstream orchestras and recordings, the Italian composers of the Neapolitan school are being rediscovered as foundational to the entire Western canon of music.

Pergolesi’s best-known work, and arguably his masterpiece, is his Stabat Mater. The Stabat Mater itself is a 13th-century Catholic hymn that imagines the suffering of Mary, the mother of Jesus, during the crucifixion. In this interpretation, the traditional sadness of the piece is juxtaposed with the singing of an angel who celebrates Christ’s eventual victory through rebirth, even as Mary mourns her dying son. Through the harmonies of the music, listeners realize that the divine joy and human mourning are two inseparable parts of the mystery of the resurrection.

The performers are Jennifer Hawkins, soprano; Samantha Becnel, alto; Paul Christian, piano; Kerry Lewis, bass; Matt Keegan, drums; and Ed Melara, engineer. Both Jennifer and Samantha have studied voice and composition with Paul for many years, and all three hoped to put together a performance to celebrate their work together before the singers leave for college next year. Paul’s extensive studies of the Neapolitan school led him to the Stabat Mater. This take on the piece hopes to demonstrate the improvisational aspects of the music of the eighteenth century, and to bring a more modern vocal  approach to the piece.



Earlier Event: March 25
The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday
Later Event: March 28
Wednesday in Holy Week