Pergolesi Stabat Mater Yoncheva DeshayesPergolesi. Stabat Mater

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
Stabat Mater

Francesco Mancini
Sonata n. 14 in G minor

Francesco Durante
Concerto grosso n. 1 in F minor

Sonya Yoncheva, soprano; Karine Deshayes, mezzosoprano

Héloïse Gaillard, flute

Ensemble Amarillis
Musical direction, Héloïse Gaillard and Violaine Cochard

Sony, 2016

I have to confess I rarely have found an album that disappointed me as this one, a live recording of a concert at the Théâtre des Champs-Élisées, which took place in June 2016, featuring Sonya Yoncheva and Karine Deshayes. It collects three different works, but it is entitled Pergolesi. Stabat Mater to give prominence to the first and most famous one. It is follwed by Francesco Mancini’s Sonata n. 14 in G minor and Francesco Durante’s Concerto grosso n. 1 in F minor.

As I said, I did not like this recording. I had to stop after the first ten minutes and to finish it later, because I could not endure anymore the noise I was listening to. Only Sonya Yoncheva manages to rise above the general level, even if she too was not astonishing. In her solo parts, Yoncheva is good, possesses a well-trained voice and is warmer than in other recordings, where I found her a little cold.

Mezzosoprano Karine Deshayes, on the contrary, was not equal to the task. I have listened to her debut album, where she recorded Rossini arias and that has been released shortly before this Stabat Mater, so I formed a pretty good idea of her… and not a positive one. The newer album confirmed that impression. Deshayes’s voice has not a beautiful timbre, her technique is not solid and her low register is practically inexistent. Her voice almost disappears in certain moments, as in Fac ut ardeat.

The blend of these two singers is disastrous: every duet (and there are many of them) becomes a singsong and the worst of all is Fac ut ardeat, where not only them, but the orchestra too, seem played and sung in extreme disorder.

The Ensemble Amarillis always plays too rough and nervous to carry out its task in a conving way.