Music and Hasi
The weather is mixed here. Cool, with rain and sunny spells. I think it has kept many people at home over Easter. I enjoyed the concert I mentioned in my last post. What do you know about Pergolesi and Stabat Mater? Perhaps you heard it on the radio, or in a concert hall, on Easter Friday. Here is some information about both,
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
Born near Ancona 1710. Died of tuberculosis at Naples in 1736. He was only 26. Italian composer, violinist and organist. Studied music in Naples, 1725. He was only 15. Principally a composer of comic operas, but his Stabat Mater, 1729, (he was only 19) is perhaps his most performed work.
Stabat Mater = Devotional poem about the Virgin Mary’s vigil by Christ’s Cross. Used as a sequence in Roman Catholic liturgy since 1727, to plainchant melody. Note that this was only 2 years before Pergolesi wrote his Stabat Mater. He was also one of many composers to set the words to music. In short, the music is his but the words are not
Franz Joseph Haydn
The music for Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlöseers am Kreuz/ The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross, was first written by Haydn in 1785. He wrote the music but no text for singers/choir. He revised it in 1796 and this is the version we heard in the Philharmonie. He took the original words and set them into seven sections. Four solo singers sing the words alone, then this is developed by the choir and orchestra. He revised it after his successful visits to London towards the end of his life. We can clearly hear other musical influences from Handel, Mozart and perhaps Beethoven in this late Classical piece.
Smile: Friends sent me a number of cards and online greetings. I must share one with you. It is about the Easter Rabbit/Bunny which figures a lot in German Easter celebrations. The words in the cartoon are in German and can be translated as, ‘Easter’s cancelled: Something is not right with Hasi!‘ I replied to the friends who sent it that I gave Hasi a large whiskey and he is now staggering back onto his feet :-)) Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend.