RECENT: Find out about composers from unusual places, including Gerard Schurmann, Giya Kancheli, Nazib Zhiganov and Nodar Gabunia, about singing in cars, and meet Jim Hutton from the RLPO and some of our regular contributors in this eighty-minute February 2021 video.
Italian composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi was born at Iesi on 4 January 1710, and moved to Naples when he was sixteen to study with Francesco Feo and Gaetano Grego.
From the age of twenty-two, he worked for the Prince of Stigliano, and from twenty-four, the Duke of Maddaloni.
He was one of the early composers of Italian comic operas, and his most famous of these was La Serva Padrona (originally the two act comic intermezzo of his serious opera Il prigionier superbo.
He also wrote sacred music, including the well-known Stabat Mater, written shortly before he died of tuberculosis, aged only twenty-six, on 16 or 17 March 1736 in Pozzuoli.
CD Spotlight. Lauded all over Europe - Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... performances are passionately committed, resonating continuously the collective emotion that is mystical and festive, painful and joyous, surprising and disturbing.'
Ensemble. A Very Rich Menu - Giuseppe Pennisi attends two first performances at the Pergolesi Spontini Festival in Jesi
CD Spotlight. Consistently Vibrant - Music inspired by St Francis of Assisi, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'A heart-melting issue ...'
Ensemble. Bach the Borrower - Mike Wheeler listens to the Derwent Singers
CD Spotlight. Beautifully Managed - Music for Lent and Easter impresses Howard Smith. '... excellent musical standards and high technical achievements ...'
CD Spotlight. Real Enchantment - Pergolesi Chamber Cantatas, enjoyed by Robert Anderson. '... episodes of tender pensiveness ...'
DVD Spotlight. Imperial Power - Pergolesi's 'La Salustia', reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... much memorable singing ...'
Ensemble. Rhythm and Irony - Eighteenth century Neapolitan cello concertos fascinate Giuseppe Pennisi
DVD Spotlight. Quite Riveting - Pergolesi's 'L'Olimpiade' impresses Gerald Fenech. '... sound and visuals are top-drawer stuff.'
Ensemble. A Taste for Melody - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on Spontini's recently discovered comedy 'La Fuga in Maschera'
Ensemble. Intensely Expressive - Italian baroque choral music, heard by Mike Wheeler
DVD Spotlight. Brilliant Sounds - Pergolesi's 'Adriano in Siria', reviewed by Robert Anderson. 'The music is as bewitching as the story is dotty.'
Ensemble. Full Immersion - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on 'La Salustia' and 'La Serva Padrona' from the Pergolesi Festival
Ensemble. Exuberantly Florid Writing - Mike Wheeler listens to António Teixeira's Te Deum
CD Spotlight. A Noteworthy Introduction - Music by Stravinsky for violin and piano, heard by Howard Smith. '... refreshing naturalness ...'
Ensemble. Pilgrimages of the Soul - Giuseppe Pennisi visits Italy's Sagra Musicale Umbra
Ensemble. Brisk Ebullience - Lawrence Budmen sends a second report from this summer's Tanglewood Festival
CD Spotlight. A Unique Sound - Italian baroque music played on saxophones, appreciated by Paul Sarcich. '... quality with a very large Q.'