Less known than those of Vivaldi or Pergolesi, Rossini’s Stabat Mater is nevertheless recorded from time to time, and the discography is already rich in versions by Giulini, Kertesz, Bychkov, Chailly or Pappano, sometimes with soloists very prestigious. This new recording may not upset the hierarchy, but will place itself in the top basket. And, above all, it gives us the opportunity to find this score created in 1842, the work of a Rossini who had abandoned opera but anticipating by its sufficient theatricality “the opera in a homespun robe” that would be, around thirty years later, Verdi’s Requiem.
Led by its musical director Gustavo Gimeno, the Orchester Philharmonique de Luxembourg went as far as Vienna to find a choir (the Wiener Singverein), and added four good soloists of international standing: the soprano Maria Agresta (some of whose trebles are sometimes perilous), the mezzo-soprano Daniela Barcellona, the always powerful timbre but with a sometimes very sensitive vibrato, the tenor René Barbera and the bass Carlo Lepore. The disc is worth for its globality even more than for the sum of its characteristics, and one will appreciate the jubilant enthusiasm and the burning lyricism which crosses it.
CD Harmonia Mundi / Complete