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Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
Featured on:
Perle del Barocco cdc 008
Perle/Paganini cdc 008/009
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (born in Jesi 4 January 1710, died in Pozzuoli 16 March 1736) was a composer who worked almost entirely in Naples. He had gone there to receive treatment for a very serious illness (tuberculosis) which would later lead him to a early grave. A pupil of Durante at the Conservatorio dei Poveri di Gesù Cristo, Pergolesi’s life’s work was brief but intense. However recognition of his talent was to take place long after his death and during his life he enjoyed a less dazzling reputation. The prominent position which he now occupies in the history of music began with the importance attributed to him by Igor Stravinsky who in 1919 in his work "Pulcinella" turned a number of Pergolesi’s pieces into a brilliant collage.
His compositions are characterised by a special originality of expression and anticipate the upheavals of pre-Enlightenment Italian culture. He composed a number of works for the theatre (as was the custom of the times), prominent amongst which the three-act musical comedy "lo frate ‘nnammurato" and the memorable "la serva padrona".
Pergolesi produced a number of religious pieces, vocal works of various kinds, and instrumental compositions such as this concerto. In his output we find an incisive approach, a counter-point which is developed in an authentically complete manner (not mere sketches as is the case with many other compositions of the period), and an intense feeling of joy. As played here in Perle del Barocco (cdc 008), this piece must be considered a first recording.

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