Jessica Lang Dance with Orchestra of St. Luke’s in Stabat Mater on November 1-2, 2017
White Light Festival presents a New York premiere of Jessica Lang Dance company production of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater on November 1-2, 2017. This year the festival is focusing on faith and its humanistic inspirations. Sacred music of Psalms is a perfect medium to highlight the sorrow, compassion, and hope for redemption and peace. Pergolesi’s delicate and sensitive music in Stabat Mater is being masterfully combined with the fluidity and lightness of movements by Jessica Lang’s dancers.
Pergolesi was born Giovanni Battista Draghi in Jesi, Italy which at the time was part of Papal States. Because his family was originally from Pergola, he was given a nickname of Pergolesi which was a common practice at the time.
Pergolesi is best known for his sacred opus Stabat Mater which was finished in 1736 right before the composer’s death from tuberculosis at age 26. The piece was written for an annual meditation on Good Friday in honor of the Virgin Mary. Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater had replaced the score by A. Scarlatti. Sacred psalms were not the only musical genre favored by the composer. Pergolesi’s operatic works made strong influence on his contemporaries and helped to establish the wide popularity of opera buffa. His operas were performed in Naples, Rome as well as Paris where they resulted in some tensions between those who preferred a more serious style over the new winds of theatrical productions.
The original music score for Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater was composed for soprano and alto soloists, violin I and II, viola and basso continuo (cello and organ). The recoding by London Symphony Orchestra with Claudio Abbado conducting is considered a staple of the sacred music genre.
So powerful is the music of Pergolesi that it made a place for itself in the modern world of movies and films. One of them, Farinelli (1994), a highly acclaimed Italian/French movie, was awarded the best foreign language film at the Golden Globe in 1995 and was nominated for an Academy Award in the same category.
Jessica Lang and her dance company had premiered this production of Stabat Mater at the Glimmerglass Opera Festival in 2013. The lightness of the company dancers’ movements and the melting of gestures to the music are the hallmarks of this company style. They blend incredibly well with the delicate voices carrying the melody making a natural extension of the music projecting it into space.
White Light Festival is being presented by the Lincoln Center. With the NewYorkPass your can enjoy a free tour of the historic Lincoln Center and much more. The New York Times calls the White Light Festival “the psalms bonanza” presenting “a dozen concerts featuring 1,000 years of music by composers including Bach, Handel, Telemann and Arvo Pärt”.
Book your tickets here.
Dates: November 1-2, 2017