|Aaron Sørensen from past Barihunks calendars|
The program also includes Jonah M. Gallagher's Vocare and Mozart's Symphony #40. The program's theme is "love and loss," as the Stabat Mater recounts Mary's devastation over the death of Jesus, Vocare was written after the composer lost his mentor to cancer, and Mozart's Symphony #4o is one of only two of symphonies written in minor keys, reflecting his interest in the Sturm und Drang movement (Storm and Stress), in which darker and stronger emotions were showcased.
After the production of William Tell in 1829, Rossini wrote no more operas. During a visit to Spain two years later, he reluctantly accepted a commission to write a Stabat Mater for the archdeacon of Madrid, Don Manuel Fernandez Varela. Rossini feared comparisons with Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, and stipulated that Varela retain sole possession of the score and never allow publication.
The Stabat Mater was premiered in Paris at the Théâtre-Italien's Salle Ventadour on January 7, 1842, with the Italian premiere occurring three months later in Bologna led by composer Gaetano Donizetti.
Samuel Ramey sings Pro peccatis...Eja, Mater from Rossini's Stabat Mater:
Rossini's extensive operatic career had divided the public into admirers and critics. The announcement of the premiere of Rossini's Stabat Mater provided an occasion for a wide-ranging attack by Richard Wagner, who was in Paris at the time, not only on Rossini but more generally on the current European fashion for religious music and the money to be made from it. A week before the scheduled concert Robert Schumann's Neue Zeitschrift für Musik carried the pseudonymous essay, penned by Wagner under the name of "H. Valentino", in which he claimed to find Rossini's popularity incomprehensible.
The first theme in the tenor solo "Cujus animam" was quoted note-for-note in the 1941 Woody Herman jazz number, "Blues on Parade." The bass has the solo Pro peccatis and Eja, Mater sung with chorus.
|Zachary Gordin & Gianluca Margheri from the 2018 Barihunk Calendar/Book|