Accompanied by the early music ensemble Orfeo 55, the Hungarian soprano Emőke Baráth and the French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky perform Italian Baroque composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, a sacred work originally scored for soprano and alto soloists. Conductor: Nathalie Stutzmann. Recorded at the Château de Fontainebleau, France, April 2014. Video by Ozango / ARTE France. A stunning performance, enjoy!
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater
Stabat Mater is composed in the final weeks of Pergolesi’s life, before his premature death at the age of 26 (4 January 1710 – 16 March 1736), and scored for soprano and alto soloists, violin I and II, viola and basso continuo (cello and organ).
It is one of Pergolesi’s most celebrated sacred works, achieving great popularity after the composer’s death. Many pieces which were said to have been composed by Pergolesi have been misattributed; the Stabat Mater is definitely by Pergolesi, as a manuscript in his handwriting has been preserved.
The work was composed for a Neapolitan confraternity, the Confraternità dei Cavalieri di San Luigi di Palazzo, which had also commissioned a Stabat Mater from Alessandro Scarlatti. Pergolesi composed it during his final illness from tuberculosis in a Franciscan monastery in Pozzuoli, along with a Salve Regina setting.
The work is divided into twelve movements, each named after the incipit of the text. Much of the music is based on Pergolesi’s earlier setting of the Dies Irae sequence. With starting times:
- 00:54 Duetto: “Stabat Mater Dolorosa” Grave, F minor, common time
- 05:18 Soprano aria: “Cujus animam gementem” Andante amoroso, C minor, 3/8
- 07:20 Duetto: “O quam tristis et afflicta” Larghetto, G minor, common time
- 09:27 “Quae moerebat et dolebat” Allegro, E-flat major, 2/4
- 11:28 Duetto: “Quis est homo” Largo, C minor, common time & 13:29 – Duetto: “Pro peccatis suae gentis…” Allegro, C minor
- 14:20 Soprano aria: “Vidit suum dulcem natum” Tempo giusto, F minor, common time
- 17:52 Alto aria: “Eja mater fons amoris” Andantino, C minor, 3/8
- 20:06 Duetto: “Fac ut ardeat cor meum” Allegro, G minor, cut common time
- 22:13 Duetto: “Sancta mater, istud agas” Tempo giusto, E-flat major, common time
- 27:26 Alto aria: “Fac ut portem Christi mortem” Largo, G minor, common time
- 31:12 Duetto: “Inflammatus et accensus” Allegro ma non troppo, B-flat major, common time
- 33:09 Duetto: “Quando corpus morietur” Largo assai, F minor, common time & 36:40 Duetto: “Amen…” Presto assai, F minor, common time
Hungarian soprano Emőke Baráth began her musical education studying the piano and the harp. She began singing at the age of 18 following the teaching of József Hormai and Katalin Szőke and then Professor Júlia Pászthy at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest. During the 2011/2012 school year, she also studied at the Luigi Cherubini Conservatory in Florence, Italy.
In 2009, she received the third prize at the 44th Anton Dvorak International Competition (Czech Republic). In 2011, she won the First Prize and the award of the Public at the Second International Singing Competition for Baroque Opera in Innsbruck (Austria). The same year, she won the Grand Prix of Verbier Festival Academy (Switzerland).
She took part in several master classes with, among others, Barbara Bonney, Kiri Te Kanawa, Stephen Stubbs, Deborah York. Early on, as a student she was already invited to perform as a soloist at many festivals and venues as famous as the Müpa (Budapest, Hungary) and the Hungarian State Opera, the Theater an der Wien, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, the Opéra Royal de Versailles in France and the Verbier Festival in Switzerland; the Nikolaisaal in Potsdam, the Braunschweig Staatstheater, and the Brandenburger Theater in Germany; the Concert Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, Russia.
The late Alan Curtis was one of the first conductors to discover her talent and he gave her the opportunities to sing in prestigious productions with works by Händel – for example, Giulio Cesare (role of Sesto, alongside Karina Gauvin and Marie-Nicole Lemieux, with a recording by Naïve), Admeto (role of Antigona), Amadigi di Gaula (role of Oriana), Arianna in Creta (role of Alceste), in prestigious venues such as Theater an der Wien, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid or Théâtre des Champs-Élysées,Paris).
Händel takes a major role in her repertoire: she sang The Messiah (Detroit Symphony Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra Washington, Nathalie Stutzmann conducting), Almirena in Rinaldo (Il Pomo d’Oro and Riccardo Minasi), Armindo in Partenope (Il Pomo d’Oro and Maxym Emelyanychev, with a recording by Erato-Warner Classics), Morgana in Alcina (Accademia Bizantina and Ottavio Dantone, with Inga Kalna and Philippe Jaroussky) and Asteria in Tamerlano (Les Ambassadeurs and Alexis Kossenko).
In April 2014, she sang the soprano part in Duello Amoroso, a pasticcio after Händel, with Nathalie Stutzmann conducting the ensemble Orfeo 55 at the Bordeaux Opera (with Jean-Louis Grinda as stage director).
Emőke Baráth regularly sings Bach’s masterpieces: Mass in B minor (Les musiciens du Louvre and Marc Minkowski), Saint Matthew Passion (Liverpool Royal Philharmonic with Nathalie Stutzmann), Christmas Oratorio (successively with the Freiburger Barockorchester, the Göteborg Symphony Orchestra and the French ensemble Accentus conducted by Laurence Equilbey). She also sang cantatas with Accademia Bizantina conducted by Andreas Scholl (Festival de Beaune).
She is also in demand for the composers of the Seicento: she was the title role in Elena by Cavalli (Cappella Mediterranea conducted by Leonardo García Alarcón, with Jean-Yves Ruf as stage director – Festival d’Aix-en-Provence), Romilda in Xerse by the same composer (Le Concert d’Astrée, Emmanuelle Haïm, with staging by Guy Cassiers – Lille Opera, Théâtre de Caen, Theater an der Wien). Regarding Monteverdi, she sang the title role of L’Incoronazione di Poppea at the Innsbruck Festival and at MÜPA (Budapest), and Euridice in L’Orfeo (Les Talens Lyriques and Christophe Rousset, Claus Guth as stage director).
She sang Monteverdi’s Selva Morale e Spirituale with Concentus Musicus Wien conducted by Pablo Heras Casado. In 2016 at Budapest Spring Festival she sang the title role of Pietro Antonio Cesti’s Orontea with the ensemble Aura Musicale (musical director: Balázs Máté).
In 2017 she sang the title role in Francesco Cavalli’s Hipermestra (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, William Christie, staging by Graham Vick). In 2017, she made her Carnegie Hall debut with Il Pomo d’Oro Orchestra performing a mostly Seicento love duet program with Italian mezzo-soprano Giuseppina Bridelli. She sang the title role of Doriclea by Alessandro Stradella on a recording and on a concert in Rome at Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia with Il Pomo d’Oro Orchestra and Andrea de Carlo.
Emőke Baráth is more and more in demand in Mozart’s works: she was a successful Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro (Les Musiciens du Louvre and Marc Minkowski, with director Felix Breisach), Tamiri in Il Re Pastore (Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra and Gábor Takács-Nagy – Verbier Festival), Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Despina in Così Fan Tutte (Hungarian State Opera). In 2016, she sang the Great Mass in C minor on three occasions: with the Bergen Philharmonic and the São Paolo Symphony Orchestra (soprano 2 solo part), and with the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra (soprano 1 solo).
Emőke Baráth’s repertoire is particularly wide: she sang Mahler’s Symphony N°2 with the Orquesta de Valencia and Yaron Traub, Scylla et Glaucus by Leclair (role of Scylla, with Les Nouveaux Caractères and Sébastien d’Hérin, with a recording by Alpha), Rameau’s Fêtes de Polymnie (with the Orfeo Orchestra Budapest and György Vashegyi, with the support of the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles) or Falstaff by Verdi (role of Nanetta, at the Hungarian State Opera).
Among her recent projects, we can mention the release of two recordings with Philippe Jaroussky, both with I Barocchisti and Diego Fasolis by Warner Classics: 2017 La Storia di Orfeo with works by Monteverdi, Sartorio, Rossi; and the other release in 2018 is Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, where she sings the role of Amore. In 2017, she had her first solo recording released by Hungaroton on which she sings songs by Claude Debussy with Emese Virág at the piano.
Emőke has a successful collaboration with the Boston Early Music Festival (musical directors: Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs). Her first recording with the group was a nice selection of love duets by Agostino Steffani (label CPO) which project they presented on a tour at many venues in the USA and in Canada. She made her debut at the festival in June 2019 singing the role of Bradamante in Steffani’s Orlando.
In 2017/2018, she sang the role of L’Ange in Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise with Sylvain Cambreling and the Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra Japan. She sang the role of Cleopatra in Händel’s Giulio Cesare on a tour with Accademia Bizantina and Ottavio Dantone. She performed Bach’s Magnificat and Händel’s Dixit Dominus with Emmanuelle Haïm and Le Concert d’Astrée on a tour in France and Bach’s Mass in B minor with Concentus Musicus Wien at Musikverein.
In March 2018, she jumped in two times on short notice to sing the role of Morgana at Théâtre des Champs Élysées in Händel’s Alcina from the orchestra pit – with Cecilia Bartoli and Philippe Jaroussky on stage, with Le Concert d’Astrée, conducted by Emmanuelle Haïm. She sang the role of Amore in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice at TCE, alongside Philippe Jaroussky and Patricia Petibon, under the baton of Diego Fasolis and with staging by Robert Carsen.
2018/19 included, among others, a tour with Philippe Jaroussky and the Ensemble Artaserse presenting a program of Händel love arias and duets, Mozart’s Requiem on a tour with the Orchestra of Théâtre des Champs-Élysées conducted by Philippe Herreweghe, her debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by William Christie, singing Händel, Pergolesi and Vivaldi with the group Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen in Barcelona and London, her debut as Amore in Gluck’s Orfeo at the Opera of Rome.
In 2018 Emőke started her long-term collaboration with Warner Classics-Erato as an exclusive artist. On her first recording, she sings masterpieces by Barbara Strozzi and her masters: Francesco Cavalli and Pietro Antonio Cesti with Il Pomo d’Oro Orchestra conducted by Francesco Corti. The recording was released in early 2019.
Philippe Jaroussky (born 13 February 1978) is a French countertenor. He began his musical career with the violin, winning an award at the Versailles Conservatory, and then took up the piano before turning to singing.
Unusually for a countertenor, Jaroussky performs entirely in the falsetto register. He has said that his natural singing voice is in the baritone range.
He received the Révélation Artiste lyrique in the 2004 Victoires de la musique classique and was Artiste lyrique de l’année in the 2007 and 2010 edition. Jaroussky was awarded “The Best Singer of the Year” at the Echo Klassik Awards, in 2008 and 2016. He also received an Echo Klassik Award in 2012 for the Album Duetti, which he recorded with Max Emanuel Cenčić. In 2020, he was awarded Victoire d’honneur in the Victoires de la musique classique.
Jaroussky was named Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2009 and was promoted to the rank of Officier in 2019.
The asteroid 332183 Jaroussky was named after him.
Nathalie Stutzmann and Orfeo 55
Having studied conducting with the legendary Finnish teacher Jorma Panula and mentored by Seiji Ozawa and Simon Rattle, Nathalie Stutzmann founded her own chamber orchestra, Orfeo 55 in 2009. The orchestra’s permanent home is at the Arsenal in Metz, France, where she is Artist in Residence.
Orfeo 55 plays on both baroque and modern instruments in a wide-ranging repertoire from Bach, Handel, Pergolesi, and Vivaldi to Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Janacek, Richard Strauss, and Schoenberg. Her approach – at once free and rigorous – her knowledge of phrasing and the emotional intensity of her performances has led to huge appreciation, by both the audiences she entertains, as well as the orchestras she leads.
Decorated “Chevalier des Arts et Lettres” and “Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite” by the French State, Nathalie Stutzmann also teaches performance classes throughout the world and is a teacher at Geneva’s Haute Ecole de Musique.
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