Come along and experience this unusual opportunity to hear a special duet performance of Pergolesi's celebrated Passiontide Cantata Stabat mater for the end of Holy Week in the famous and historic setting of St Giles Church, located in the heart of the City of Oxford. St Giles Church provides a fitting backdrop for a performance of this the most famous composition of the 26year old master of the Italian Baroque and the most frequently reprinted work of the 18th century.
This atmospheric Grade 1 listed building lies at the junction of the Woodstock and Banbury Roads, just north of the Oxford city wall. St Giles Church was first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 and surviving 12th century features include two windows in the north side of the clerestorey of the nave and the lower parts of the bell tower, finished early in the 13th century, along with Early English Gothic Lancet windows and the decorated Gothic Chancel.
With its 13th century text, a strongly emotional retelling of the Passion story from the viewpoint of the grieving mother, the Virgin Mary, and extraordinary harmonic language it is little wonder that the popularity of the Stabat mater has endured to this day. The work's feeling of restrained 'sacred opera' is retained this evening, performed in a liturgical context, attempting to recreate what the composer may have originally intended and featuring the etherial combination of solo soprano and countertenor voices singing in the same octave.
This is a very special event and one not to be missed, irrespective of your religious conviction, featuring the acclaimed Oxford based soloists, soprano Anna Shackleton and countertenor Adrian Boorman, both former students of Birmingham Conservatoire, accompanied by award-winning pianist and tutor at Birmingham Conservatoire, Jonathan French.
A text text translation and performance notes will be provided and donations are invited to support the St Giles Choir Academy.
"The opening movement of Pergolesi's Stabat mater is the most perfect and touching duet to come from the pen of any composer" Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
- Stabat Mater
- Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736)