Philip Pickett conducts Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater


It’s one of the most beautiful works in the baroque repertoire and is now almost as popular as it was at the time of its creation. Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater will be performed between the recently-renovated walls of the Israel Conservatory in Tel Aviv this Sunday, November 10, and in the Rappaport Auditorium in Haifa on November 11. Guest musician Philip Pickett will conduct the Stabat Mater as well as works by Corelli, Albinoni, Vivaldi and more.

Stabat Mater is a 13th-century Marian hymn, attributed to a Franciscan monk by the name of Jacopone da Todi. It is comprised of two parts, the “Stabat mater dolorosa“, which recounts the sorrows of Mary, and the “Stabat mater speciosa“, about the birth of Jesus. Countless composers set these two poems to music, from Palestrina to Dohnányi and including Vivaldi, Rossini, Dvořák and even the perpetual atheist Verdi.

Pergolesi’s setting is of the first part of the hymn, “Stabat mater dolorosa“. The Stabat mater is one of Pergolesi’s final works: he wrote it in a monastery while ill with tuberculosis, the disease that would lead to his death a few months later at the age of 26. While the work was an almost immediate success, it was considered too “lively” for the church and too like the composer’s comic operas, such as La serva padrona.

The name Philip Pickett is almost synonymous with early music. He started playing early woodwind instruments in his student days, and went to become Director of Early Music at the Globe Theater and director of the New London Consort. He regularly conducts in Israel. I first heard him conduct a much-lauded production of Monteverdi’s Orfeo at the Israel Festival in 2007.

Soprano Revital Raviv, formerly of the Israel Opera’s “Opera Studio” program, studied at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music in London. Today she enjoys a successful career in Israel, singing in venues across the country, and has worked with Pickett on several occasions (she was his Euridice at the Israel Festival).

Alon Harari, countertenor, is also an alumnus of the Opera Studio and a graduate of the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music. Two years ago he sang Orfeo in the Israel Opera’s new production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, and he will be singing the Stabat Mater again later this month with the Barrocade Ensemble.
Concert dates:

Israel Conservatory of Music, Tel Aviv – November 10, 20:30 – tickets available at 054-4940317
Rappaport Auditorium, Haifa – November 11, 20:30 – tickets available at 04-8363804 and 04-8629959
Tickets to both venues can be purchased online at