Stabat Mater

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Stabat Mater is a musical setting of the homonimous sequence, composed by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi in 1736, during the final weeks of his life. Though many pieces catalogued as Pergolesi's are clearly spurious, a manuscript of the Stabat Mater in his handwriting has been preserved, this confirming his authorship. The work was written for a Neapolitan confraternity, the Confraternità dei Cavalieri di San Luigi di Palazzo, which had also commissioned a Stabat Mater from Aandro Scarlatti. It has since become one of Pergolesi's most celebrated sacred works, achieving great popularity after the his death. Jean-Jacques Rousseau showed appreciation for the work, praising the opening movement as "the most perfect and touching duet to come from the pen of any composer". Many composers adapted the work in various ways. The piece itself is divided into twelve movements, each named after the incipit of the text. Much of the music is based on Pergolesi's earlier setting of the Dies Irae sequence. The score calls for soprano and alto soloists, violin I and II, viola, and basso continuo (cello and organ).

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