Salve Reginae I: A Minor II: C Minor
Last updated: 17.12.19
||Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
Hardcover, 98 pages, (February 1994)
By Craig Matteson (Ann Arbor, MI) -
Because Pergolesi only lived to be 26 years old, it is hard to speak of early and late works, but this book contains the two authentic versions of the composer's "Salve Regina". The first in a-minor, is the early work, and the justly very famous version in c-minor is the later work. This edition was used on the wonderful recording by Emma Kirkby, Christopher Hogwood, and the Academy of Ancient Music. Youtube has a clip of the first of the five movements of this work and you can look at the product page for the recording on Amazon here: Pergolesi, Stabat Mater, Salve Regina / Kirkby, Bowman , AAM, Hogwood
The printing of the music is of very high quality. I love its clarity and the critical commentary at the back. You can dig into this work as deeply as you wish and become informed about the important issues surrounding this composition. They range from the large (which are real compositions by Pergolesi) and the small (which notes go where and why). The appendices address three of the spurious versions that have gained some popularity over the centuries and demonstrate why they were not composed by Pergolesi.
The first third of the book covers the historical background of the works, including the authenticity, chronology, sources, and dissemination of the works. You can also read about the occasions for which the music was composed and the antiphon used as the text. I also enjoyed the statement by the editors of the principles they used in editing the score and what they had to do to accommodate modern notation. All of these articles are presented in both English and Italian.
This is a wonderful edition of a marvelous musical work.