Eating Calamari with Pergolesi

But first, please start this video.

Now, while that's playing, you may continue...

Last night The Stillwater Chamber Singers performed the Pergolesi Stabat Mater in Oklahoma City (Lynette sang the 4th movement, Que moerebat et dolebat). It was a really beautiful concert that also included Bach's Lobet den Herren - Alleluia, Buxtehude's breathtaking De Herr ist mit Mir chants (performed by the men) by Orlando de Lassus and Antonio Lotti. I remember de Lasso mostly from the choral analysis exercises I had to do in my Fugue and Counterpoint class in college.

The Stabat Mater is an especially beautiful and poignant piece of music when you realize that Pergolesi, at the age of 26, died of tuberculosis only five days after completing it. He must have been horribly miserable during its composition. At the time, he'd only been composing for 9 years, but what a productive 9 years! In this brief space he composed both secular and sacred pieces, a ballet and several operas, both seria and buffa. He is commonly known as "the father of comic opera". Many people who are unfamiliar with his work will recognize the piece of music in the video above as that which was used in an early scene in the movie, Amadeus. Before last night, however, I didn't know anything about Pergolesi's life and premature death; I feel like I've met a new friend.

After the concert Nettl and I went to The Olive Garden with Betsy Lawlor (conductor Mark Lawlor's wife), their daughter Katie and Margaret, an alto in the group. We had a great time sharing antipasti and conversation. Then we made the hour-long drive back to Stillwater, the music on the Classical station and the food in our stomachs putting us in a contented state of bliss.

Today the concert is being repeated here in town, but I'm staying home to be lazy rest.