This is a recording of a relatively rare version: the Stabat Mater that the Cavalieri della Virgine dei Dolori commissioned in 1724 from the most famous opera composer of the day, Alessandro Scarlatti (1660 - 1725). Some years later, in 1736, this same order commissioned Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. We remember Alessandro Scarlatti as a fabulous composer of operas, which indeed he was, but this image of him masks a reality that was quite different. Scarlatti made his career, in fact, primarily in the service of Roman cardinals, for whom he wrote numerous cantatas, oratorios, and other sacred music.
The flute concerto with which this recording begins is also a late work by Scarlatti. He had been upset by the frivolity of the new composers of his era. At the age of 64 he rediscovered a taste for instrumental music, which happened rarely in his life.