4th January – Giovanni Pergolesi
Pergolesi (4 January 1710 – 16 March 1736) is our choice for 4th January, in remembrance of the day of his birth.
Lifespan: 26 years
Education: Conservatorio dei Poveri di Gesu Cristo, Naples
Fame Ranking: 3
A contemporary of yesterday’s composer of the day, Galuppi, Pergolesi was also famous for his comic operas and also composed a quantity of religious and instrumental music. Opera was the height of fashion at this time both in Italy and across Europe, and Pergolesi was held up as an example to all.
Pergolesi composed much in his short lifetime. He came from a rather impoverished family, but in 1732 was taken under the wing of Prince of Stigliano, who became his patron. He died at the age of 26 after contracting tuberculosis (referred to as “consumption” in those days). After his death, his “Stabat Mater” became his most famous work. J.S. Bach later transformed the piece into a motet entitled “Tilge, Hochster, meine Sunden”.
Here is an excerpt from Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater”.
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Listen to some more Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater tracks here – click the box!