So after our post on Rossini's magnificent Stanat Mater, here's the same hallowed text, but by a composer much more associated with the keyboard: Domenico Scarlatti.
This is spectacular programming: we begin with one of those very Sonatas, G-Major, Kk144 (Kirkpatrick = Kk); and just listen to teh magic when we hear the initial "Stabat Mater dolorosa" of the Stabat Mater immediately thereafter (in the absence of Guiller's performance on YouTube, I've substituted Christophe Rousset's, or you can use the Spotify links below for the full Harmonia Mundi experience):
There are some spectacular harmonic shifts in the "Cujus animam gementem":
When it comes to the "Eja, Mater, fons amoris" it is almost as if Scarlatti revels in the counterpoint, unleashing this aspect of himself not usually seen with such extravagence in the keyboard sonatas:
Scarlatti's florid writing for soloists is spectacularly realised here in the "Inflammatus" (leading to a vigorous fugue at "Facut anime":
The Scatlatti Sonatas Kk 81 and 88-91 were originally for solo instrument and continuo, and the fourmovement (!) D minor Kk 90 is heard in this form here, with solo violin. It is far more than an "interlude," a substantive piece in its own right. Listen to the joyously robust second movement, an Allegro (Leila Schayegh is the violinist):
Fascinating to insert a piece by Charles Avison, a gallant movement from a Concerto grosso (d'après Domenico Scarlatti) before a selection of arias and a "Cantata profane", punctuated with but one Sonata.
Paul Antoine Bénos-Djian, counter-tenor, excels in the excerpts from the opera Amor d'un'Ombre e Gelosia d'un aura (also known as Narciso):
... and the disc closes with the most exquisite duet from that opera, absolutely worth seeking out!
I do want to close, though, with this beautiful aria from the "Cantata profana" Pur nel sonno almen tal'ora, sung by the wonderful Emmanuelle de Negri:
The programming of this disc is faultless in its mix of chamber and vocal works; it opens our eyes and ears to a new side of Domenico Scarlatti as well as furninshing us with a piece apt to the season, the Stabat Mater. Bertrand Cuiller and his group, Le Caravanserail, are superb throughout - the recording, too, is faultless.
A disc to cherish.Scarlatti Stabat Mater