Stabat Mater Pergolesi

Choral Settings of the Text


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Pergolesi was never more popular than in the first generations after his early death, when his intermezzo La serva padrona (The Servant Mistress) sparked the Querelle des Bouffons in Paris and publishers found that attributing even the most lackluster music to Pergolesi would guarantee sales. Dying young may have placed the ultimate limit on his personal success, but it only enhanced Pergolesi’s posthumous romance. His intimate deathbed piece, the Stabat mater, grew with his legend: In 1776 Hiller arranged it for four voices, added woodwinds, and “improved” the harmony; Paisiello and Salieri further augmented it; and by 1831 Alexey L’vov found that only full orchestra, chorus, and soloists would do for the imperial court chapel in Russia.