Personalities | Giovanni Battista Pergolesi | Late Baroque | Classical
(Jo-van’-ne Bat-tes’-ta Pâr-go-la’-ze) 1710–36
Pergolesi studied in Naples with Francesco Durante (1684–1755). He received his first commission in 1731 and the following year was appointed maestro di cappella to the equerry of the Viceroy of Naples. Pergolesi composed comic and serious opera, sacred music and a small quantity of instrumental music. He is chiefly remembered for two works of a disparate character. La serva padrona (‘The Maid as Boss’, 1733) is a comic intermezzo which was performed in Naples as a companion piece to his serious opera Il prigionier superbo (‘The Haughty Prisoner’, 1733). Lively plot, credibly drawn characters and engaging music made them popular dramatic entertainments. The Stabat Mater for soprano, mezzo-soprano and strings was among Pergolesi’s last compositions; its style approaches the idiom of contemporary Italian opera.
La serva padrona, Livietta e Tracollo, soloists, La Petite Bande (dir) Sigiswald Kuijken (Accent)
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