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Rossini: Stabat Mater Import

17 customer reviews

Price: £9.88 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Rossini: Stabat Mater + Puccini: Messa di Gloria
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Product details

  • Performer: Anna Netrebko, Joyce DiDonato, Lawrence Brownlee, Ildebrando D'Arcangelo
  • Orchestra: Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
  • Conductor: Antonio Pappano
  • Composer: Gioachino Rossini
  • Audio CD (8 Nov. 2010)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B0041EV5CI
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,610 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Description

Product Description

Award-winning conductor Antonio Pappano and his acclaimed Roman orchestra the Accademia di Santa Cecilia release Rossini's Stabat Mater. The recording includes star soloists Anna Netrebko, Joyce DiDonato, Lawrence Brownlee and Ildebrando d'Arcangelo.

Although Rossini focused heavily on opera, he was still able to find some time to undertake commissions of a non-operatic nature. Supreme among these was to be the Stabat Mater. "I would say that the Stabat Mater - the picture of the Virgin Mary standing below the crucifix watching her son die and this beautiful set of prayers or scene setting is sublimely put to music by Rossini." says Maestro Pappano.

Pappano's recent releases with the Roman orchestra includes the award-wining and critically-acclaimed Verdi Requiem, Respighi's ‘Roman Trilogy', the Tchaikovsky Symphonies 4-6 and Puccini's opera ‘Madama Butterfly' with Angela Gheorghiu and Jonas Kaufmann which won Gheorghiu the Female Artist of the Year honour at this year's Classical Brit Awards. Pappano himself won the Critics' Choice award for his recording of the Verdi Requiem.

BBC Review

There is no shortage of good recordings of Rossini's Stabat Mater, but few do this gloriously uplifting work as much justice as Antonio Pappano's new recording with the forces of Santa Cecilia, Rome, and an exceptionally strong solo quartet. The line-up, which boasts some of the greatest bel canto – and specifically Rossinian – singers of the day, tackles the work with a sensitivity and flair matched by few others.

An opera composer to his bones, Rossini had, with characteristic eccentricity, decided to retire at the age of only 37. Perhaps the phenomenal achievement of having written over 30 operas in the space of just 19 years, many of which were – and still are – wildly popular, had left him feeling burnt out. True to his word, he never wrote another opera. But his irrepressible operatic spirit permeates the few pieces he did go on to compose, none more so than the magnificent Stabat Mater, completed in 1841. With its magical fusion of heartfelt solemnity and devotion with theatrical drama and joyous melodies, some even argue that this work represents the summation of Rossini's art; listening to this new recording it is hard to disagree. Pappano and company really understand its idiomatic style like no one else on disc.

There is a compelling commitment to this performance. The opening chorus, with its hushed cloak-and-dagger atmosphere punctuated by dramatic outbursts, showcases choral singing of a terrific intensity that pins you to your seat. After a sternly forbidding orchestral introduction, the sun comes out from behind the clouds for the first time in the tenor aria Cujus animam gementem. Lawrence Brownlee captures the nobility of the glorious and unmistakeably Italian melody. Soprano Anna Netrebko and mezzo Joyce DiDonato at times seem almost impossibly sweet-voiced, blending sublimely in the sumptuous duet Quis est homo, full of impassioned longing. The darkly rich, stentorian tones of bass Ildebrando d'Arcangelo are heard to marvellous effect in his aria Pro peccatis suae gentis, which also displays great subtlety. Stellar soloists are often poor team players, but here all four work supremely together: the radiant quartet Sancta mater is an absolute joy, aided by Pappano's buoyant (but never trivialising) accompaniment.

If you already love this wonderful work, you certainly won't want to be without Pappano's splendid new account; if you have yet to discover it, there is no better place to start.

--Graham Rogers

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By S. Wells on 12 Dec. 2010
Format: Audio CD
I believe that this is as fine a recording of this work as you'll find. Although I have frequently heard this piece, both live and recording, this set made me think I was hearing the work for the first time. I give Antonio Pappano credit for this fresh and vivid approach. He is especially effective in bringing out the more lyrical passages and coaxing some exquisite soft singing from his soloists. Just listen to the "un poco meno" section of the bass aria "Pro peccatis" elegantly sung by Ildebrando d'Arcangelo.

Indeed, the soloists are all splendid. Lawrence Brownlee makes the aria "Cujus amimam" sound effortless as he delivers it with golden tone. The darker colour of Netrebko's voice contrasts well with the brighter palate of DiDonato in their duet and they sing their respective arias with great beauty. Perhaps the highlight of the recording is the a capella quartet "Quando corpus morietur."

I have one minor quibble: the voices of the soloists are much more forward than those of the choir. They seem to come from different aural planes. Even in the choral movements, the choir seems remote and recessed. This, however, is not so significant as to impair one's enjoyment of this excellent set.

Highly recommended!
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 100 REVIEWER on 6 Mar. 2011
Format: Audio CD
Like Antonio Pappano's "Verdi Requiem" released eighteen months ago, this recording has been heavily hyped and promoted at a time when new such recordings are thin on the ground - and like that "Requiem" (see my review) I think it has merits without being anything special. Certainly the choir, orchestra and Pappano's conducting are all as good as one could wish but I think we run into some trouble once we start making comparisons between the soloist teams here and on previous celebrated versions, particularly with the women.

In case you think I'm being hypercritical, I would say that I am not by far the only commentator to express reservations - although those who dissent are likely to be drowned out and showered with abuse and negative votes for saying so. Maybe it's a case of only dead fish going with the tide, but swimming against is my MusicWeb reviewer colleague Bob Farr, who has also heard a lot of versions and remains underwhelmed. While acknowledging the "dramatic thrust" of Pappano's direction he has serious doubts about the sound balance, which places the soloists too far back, apparently seemingly behind the orchestra, and secondly he expresses disappointment with both Netrebko and DiDonato. I certainly immediately noticed the wobble and lack of firmness in a voice which, when even in its prime, was always too soft-grained for the spinto qualities the music demands and here sounds distinctly laboured. Some have attributed the recent deterioration in her voice, also noticeable in her Micaela in "Carmen", to her having returned to singing too soon after giving birth, when time is needed to recover from the physiological and hormonal changes that happy event occasions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Brooks on 8 Jun. 2011
Format: Audio CD
I would like to express complete satisfaction with my purchase of the CD of the Stabat Mater by Rossini. The music is really marvellous and I would urge anyone who loves choral music to buy this stunning performance which expresses, in my view, perfectly the awful grief of a Mother who is watching her son being crucified. The orchestra and chorus, called the dell' Accademia di Santa Cecillia conducted by Antonia Pappano and the four soloists give a sensitive and expressive performance of a wonderful Masterrpiece. In addition, there is a very informative leaflet which includes an English translation of the text..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By martin jones on 30 May 2011
Format: Audio CD
Every Good Friday I try to make a point of listening to Haydn's "Seven Last Words" in the superb performance by the Lindsays (advert) which is enhanced by a very moving meditation on the words themselves in the liner notes by Dr John Taylor, a former Bishop of Winchester. When I saw that Rossini's Stabat Mater was to be the "Building a Library" item on a recent edition of the BBC's CD Review I thought this might form a suitable companion piece although, like many people, I suspect, the only number I had heard before was the "Cujus animam".

The extracts I then heard led me to realise that this work is an underrated masterpiece. It is clearly a forerunner for Verdi's Requiem, and although the latter is by far the greater work that does not in any way diminish the power and musicality of the Stabat Mater.

As for this recording, which I now own, my only criticism is one already noted ie that the soloists are not well integrated with the choir and orchestra. This is particularly noticeable at the beginning (or perhaps one's ears become more accommodating later on). In all other respects -including the price - it is a winner.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By stuartliff on 21 Feb. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This could have been the most recommendable version of Rossini's great work. The only real fly in the ointment is the soprano Anna Netrebko who is badly miscast. The score cries out for a dramatic soprano with a flame like voice capable of dealing with all aspects of the part. I realise that, sadly, such voices are scarce right now. Renee Fleming would have been a better choice. The choral ending is magnificent as is Pappano's conducting throughout.
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