Two of Bach's finest cantatas, both for solo alto, composed in Weimar (1714) and Leipzig (1726) respectively, are here coupled with Pergolesi's Stabat Mater of 1736, the eighteenth century's favourite sacred work. The gap between austere Lutheran piety and searing Mediterranean emotionalism might seem unbridgeable. Yet Bach so admired the composition of his Neapolitan colleague that he made his own 'parody' of it to a German text. On this recording, La Nuova Musica and its two eminent soloists display equal mastery of both idioms.
Semenzato and Richardot are tremendous. Richardot’s warmth offsets Semenzato’s brightness, and their voices blend and twine round each other almost sensually in their duets.
– Gramophone (Editor's Choice, May 2021)
To both works, Minasi and his musicians bring all the drama of Italian opera, highlighting the gamut of Baroque affects with unapologetically extravagant gestures: expressive portamentos and vivid contrasts of tempo, dynamic, colour and texture...Giulia Semenzato’s voluptuous soprano offsets the more androgynous quality of Lucile Richardot’s plangent mezzo.
– BBC Music Magazine