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Gioachino Rossini

Giulini conducts Rossini’s ‘Stabat Mater’ 1960

1960. Rome
Rossini's 'Stabat Mater' conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini in Rome in 1960
Composer Gioachino Rossini
Conductor Carlo Maria Giulini
Singers Luciano Pavarotti, Shirley Verrett, Nicola Zaccaria, Teresa Żylis-Gara
Ensemble Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma della RAI
Genre Choral concert

Rossini composed his setting of the traditional liturgical text Stabat Mater late in his career, after he had retired from composing operas.

In 1831, on a visit to Spain, he was commissioned to write the work, but by the following year he had not completed it when ill health made it impossible for him to do so.  He asked his friend Giovanni Tadolini to write six extra movements and it was in this form that the work was first performed in 1833 in Madrid.

Rossini finally completed the work in 1841, replacing the Tadolini movements.  The announcement of its first performance in Paris provoked an attack from Richard Wagner, then little known in the city for his own compositions.  Writing in Robert Schumann’s Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, he objected to money being made from the composition of religious works and belittled Rossini’s reputation.

Wagner’s polemic did not prevent the work have a great popular success when it was first performed at the Théâtre-Italien’s Salle Ventadour on 7 January 1842 with the soloists Giulia Grisi (soprano), Emma Albertazzi (mezzo-soprano), Mario (tenor) and Antonio Tamorini (baritone).  The Italian première followed in March in Bologna, led by Gaetano Donizetti.

The tenor solo, Cuius animam, has achieved particular success and is often performed as a separate piece.


Gioachino Rossini (1792 – 1868)

Stabat Mater

Track 1:

  1. Stabat Mater dolorosa  – Chorus and all four soloists
  2. Cujus animam  – Tenor

Track 2:

  1. Quis est homo – Soprano and mezzo-soprano
  2. Pro peccatis – Bass

Track 3:

  1. Eja, Mater – Bass recitative and chorus
  2. Sancta Mater – All four soloists

Track 4:

  1. Fac ut portem – Mezzo-soprano
  2. Inflammatus – Soprano and chorus
  3. Quando corpus morietur – Chorus and all four soloists
  4. In sempiterna saecula. Amen – Chorus

This recording took place on 8 May 1960.

The recording is from the Harewood Collection at Music Preserved.

Remastering by Roger Beardsley.

  • Teresa Żylis-Gara
  • Shirley Verrett
  • Luciano Pavarotti
  • Nicola Zaccaria
  • Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro di Roma della RAI
  • Carlo Maria Giulini

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