A spirited performance
HaydnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s setting of the Stabat Mater, which he composed early in his tenure at the Esterhazy court, is one of his more consistently mournful sacred works. Two substantial period-instrument interpretations by Pinnock and Harnoncourt are still available (the Harnoncourt as an import CD). PinnockÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s version is perhaps the most powerful, and his stately tempi are significantly slower than either BurdickÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s or HarnoncourtÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s. The soloists on the Naxos recording arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t quite up to the level of the singers on the earlier discs, and this performance lacks something of (especially) the Pinnock recordingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s solemn elegance. But the present version offers its own rewards; the performance is spirited and light on its feet, the textures are more transparent, and the musicÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dance-like passages are brought out pleasingly.
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