Pergolesi: Stabat Mater in F minor; Mancini: Sonata No 14 in G minor; Durante: Concerto grosso in F minor

Reviewed on Wed 28 Dec, 2016

There are few quibbles to be had with the comparatively rare instrumental offerings from Francesco Mancini and Durante. If only the same could be said about the Pergolesi.

Your liking or otherwise of this recording, taken from a live concert at Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on 27 June 2016, will most likely hinge on what can be deemed stylistically appropriate. The Ensemble Amarillis, led jointly by Héloïse Gaillard and Violaine Cochard, performs the programme with some awareness of period approaches. Hence, there are few quibbles to be had with the comparatively rare instrumental offerings from Francesco Mancini and Durante. If only the same could be said about the Pergolesi. Here the discrepancy of approach between the orchestra and the overtly operatic voices of Sonya Yoncheva and Karine Deshayes becomes, for me at least, a point of increasing contention as the performance progresses. Both singers are distinguished in their own right but they don’t gel as sympathetically as others do on disc. Try Netrebko and Pizzolato for Pappano (DG) or Kirkby and Bowman for Hogwood (Decca) for singers from very different traditions who nevertheless find real depth of feeling within Pergolesi’s heartfelt score. Decent live recording and supporting notes.
–Evan Dickerson