Anna Netrebko’s first Deutsche Grammophon recording of religious music discloses this fiery interpreter of opera and song to be possessed of the sacred fire to a blazing degree. Lovingly assisted by Maestro Pappano, the diva’s July 2010 Baden-Baden concert tributes to Pergolesi on the occasion of his 300th birthday eschews the pallor that sometimes diminishes the impact of sacred music. Instead, their historically informed but modern approach is a palpable journey through the struggles of the flesh to the triumph of the spirit.
In the Stabat Mater Netrebko’s lusciously dark soprano and mezzo Maria Pizzolato’s beautifully schooled tones are a heavenly complement to the other. On this Pergolesi tribute, Anna does not record the standard addition, the Salve Regina, but has chosen the secular cantata for soprano “Nel chiuso centro”: The second cantata “Questo è il piano, questo è il rio”, is also a secular cantata for alto and strings. Both cantatas add a special touch to this album where Pergolesi’s sacred music features alongside some of his secular (more operatic) compositions. From the Label