Two powerful images from the events of Good Friday at Calvary, are brought together in music on Good Friday, 22nd April when Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater is performed alongside Stainers’ Crucifixion, at St Stephen’s Church, in Macquarie Street, Sydney. Pergolesi’s work paints the grieving mother whilst Stainer’s depicts the object of her grief – the crucifixion death of her Son.
In fact, the two works couldn’t be more diverse. Pergolesi’s motet for soprano and alto soloists with continuo is written in Italian Baroque style with a distinct sense of drama. Composed in 1736, it was composed as Pergolesi was dying, prematurely, aged 26.
In contrast, Stainer’s Crucifixion, written in 1887 when Stainer was 47, is more English oratorio than Baroque motet, with 20 movements and scored for tenor and bass soloists, SATB choir and organ.
Realising this programme will be conductor Anthony Pasquill, with soprano Judith Rough, mezzo soprano Amanda Wagg, tenor Roy Best, bass Gavin Lockley and the choir of St Stephen’s augmented by members of several Sydney Parish Choirs. Performing at the organ will be St Stephen’s Director of Music Mark Quarmby and organ scholar David Tagg.