Please Select the Score or the Continuo
|Nicola Fago: Stabat Mater, Naples, 1719||Its Basso Continuo|
Here are two representations of the Stabat Mater by Nicola Fago. One is the full score and the other is its basso continuo. Listening to the full texture while reading the continuo part can be a good way to develop the sense of full realization necessary in partimenti. The score consulted was prepared in 1814 by Giuseppe Sigismondo, Naples Conservatory librarian (and student of Durante and Porpora), from a set of parts. The bass part includes the markings C., A., T., and B. They cue entries of the canto, alto, tenore, and basso. What looks like the letter “W” is really two overlapping “Vs” indicating “violins.” Some sections of the normal Stabat Mater are missing from the preserved score. Measures 92–94 were reconstructed from the evidence of the measure preceding the break, and m. 95 was added as a transition back to the preserved text.
The figured bass part to Fago’s Stabat Mater is at times quite complex and challenging. Yet unlike his fugal partimenti, one could not reconstruct the complete texture of his Stabat Mater from the bass alone. The similarities between a basso continuo and a pedagogical partimento are nevertheless substantial, and absorbing the style of this great work will go a long way toward understanding the sound ideal of the early eighteenth-century partimento. It may be worth pointing out that although one might describe the Stabat Mater as being in a “strict style,” and as demonstrating the prepared dissonances of the stile antico, the dissonances meant to illustrate the pain of Mary are of the stile nuovo, the scoring for violins, four-part choir, and continuo is much like mid-seventeenth-century sacred works in the concerted style, and the lively Andante is very galant in the manner of Pergolesi or Leo. “Pure composition” among the early eighteenth-century musical descendants of Palestrina was much more “free” than one might expect.
The audio file is large (14MB), so patience may be required when opening these pages. There are buttons for page turns at the bottom of the score. For forward turns, you may click anywhere on the score.