Emanuele d' Astorga
About the composer
Emanuele d’Astorga (1680 – 1757) was born in Augusta, Sicily. He is without doubt the most intriguing composer. It is a fact that he was a baron, and that he, as an officer in the army, took part in crushing a Sicilian rebellion. When he was near 40 years of age he married a fifteen years old girl, only to leave her with three children after seven years. But he had taken care of her financial independence. After that, he journeyed through all of Europe and it is not known exactly where and when he died. Astorga was a self-made composer and never worked as a professional musician. He was well-known for his chamber cantatas. His life was a source of inspiration for many legends and stories. Not only a novel and a two-part biography were written about him, but even a complete opera “Astorga”, in which the hero loses his mind and comes to his senses only after hearing the music of his own Stabat Mater.
About the Stabat Mater
Soprano, alto, tenor, bass, mixed choir, strings with organ
The composition is very regularly divided into 9 parts of two stanzas and one double duet of four stanzas. The structure is indeed consistent with the textual scheme. The first two duets are interesting, as the two participants each sing their own stanza at the same time.The chorals are beautiful, especially the second, a fugue. The work ends with a fugue again, as a sign of hope in the key of C major.
The "Vatican"-version of the text is used, but with the following changes:
|CD :||Harmonia Mundi DHM 5472 77369 Astorga – Pergolesi – Durante|
|About this CD:|
Recorded at the Evangelische Kirche, Gönningen in December 1995. I bought this CD in a record shop in the Netherlands in 1997.
|Choir:||Balthasar Neumann Chor|
Ann Monoyios, soprano
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi: Confitebor tibi Domine