The World of Arts:
Stabat Materís score under Lalanath de Silva
St. Michael stood at watch, leaning against a pillar with his wings
curled up as though in guard when The Camerata Musica - Chamber
Orchestra presented Handel and Pergolesi in an evening of glorious music
at St. Michaelís Church, conducted by Lalanath de Silva, over the
Playing right under the crucifix, the sacred atmosphere was created
by the solemn surrounding of the stone-walled church as the silence of
the audience fell upon the Cemerata Musica as the full-throated choire
opened up with Handelís Coranation Anthems. Bursting with energy, they
woke up the expectant audience with surprise. With very strong, powerful
voices, they related to the high-profile scores.
Handelís 4 Coranation Anthems were presented by Camerata Musica
Chamber Choir and conducted by Lalanath de Silva at St.
Michaelís and All Angels Church.
The soloists were immaculately voice-supported by the choir rose to
the intricasies of the scores, not an easy task but done with virtue and
intensity to the very up-front conducting of Lalanath de Silva.
Sabat Mater reveals the anguish and sorrow of the Virgin for her son
crucified at whose feet she weeps unable to help him the pain he is
going through hanging on the cross.
In his scores, composer Pergolesi has immaculately captured the
spirit of the sacred scene with strings dominating which may have been
written for voice which Lalanath de Silva so accurately and
professionally conducted tonight to a responsive ensemble gathered right
under the crucifix of the Lord.
It was gracious of Lalanath de Silva to have chosen the scores of
Stabat Mater which is not very popular with Sri Lankan music lovers. By
doing so, he introduced the lesser known Pergolesi.
George Fredrick Handel I keep asking this question all over again?
Why not the Messiah inside the church. Why the Camerata Musica opted for
4 Coronation Anthems. Said and done, once again Lalanath de Silva rose
to the occasion and did Handel proud along with the choral backing of a
great ensemble. It was appreciated by one and all.
A great evening, well spent to the memories of young twenty six year
old Pergolesi and the immortal Handel who rubbed against King George I
and was reconciled after he composed the now famous Water Music for the
In selecting the scores tonight, Lalanath de Silva has revealed his
passion for sacred music and done with glory to the Lord.
Credits Lalanath de Silva - Commencing early his conducting career,
succeeded the late Dr. Earl de Fonseka as the conductor of the Symphony
Orchestra of Sri Lanka in 2000 for two years until he was called by the
UN in Geneva. He has also appeared as a guest conductor with several
orchestras. Lalanathaís last performance with the SOSL was Haydnís
Creation with a choir of 50 singers.
Tonight, he appears for the second time with Camerata Musica since
his 2004 Mozartís Requiem. Obviously Lalanath is enamoured by choral
works with a passion for sacred music.
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
For a life so young dedicated to music with ill health such as
tuberculosis and troubled with a deformed leg, Pergolesi died at the age
of twenty six, the year, 1736 he composed Salve Regina and the Stabat
Mater that was performed tonight. A composer never recognised during his
lifetime, may be due to some of his scores were in doubt.
Whether he really scored them or were partly adapted, a doubt that
has never been cleared. However, he was a prolific composer who never
ceased a moment to produce some score. The speed of composition appeared
to have obstructed against the lasting influence. But today few of his
works are regularly performed with success.
From the time Pergolesi entered the Naples Conservatory at the age of
fifteen, until his death which was eleven years later, he fully
dedicated himself to score a stream of orchestral works, church
cantatas, instrumental sonatas as well as comic operas.
Almost two centuries later, Pergolesiís music was given a big boost
when Stravinsky adapted several of his pieces, including some of
doubtful authenticity, for his witty ballet, Pulcinella. It was Russian,
Leonide Massine who choreographed this ballet in 1920 to Stravinskyís
George Fredreric Handel (1685-1759)
There is no music lover who would not have heard the Messiah,
especially christians. Essentially a composer of church music, he rose
to be the greatest in the sacred scene, even up to date.
He was sent off to study law. But when his father died in 1697, he
made up his mind to be a composer and went to Berlin to persue a musical
career. It took him little time to obtain an orchestral post as
violinist/ harpsichordist with the Hamburg Opera in 1705. Thus began his
magnificent career that had a spectacular rise. His first opera Almira
was performed with the Hamburg Opera in 1705.
The following thirteen years he travelled until he became
Kepellinester to Elector George of Brunswick. He was allowed an years
lease to visit London where he mounted Rinaldo in 1711 and Ilpastor Fido
in 1712. When returned to Hamburg he became restless and was permitted
to go toLondon again where he saw his spiritual home.
He overstayed his leave and when Queen Anne died in 1714, his Hamburg
employer came to England as King George 1. At the beginning King George
resented and was hostile towards Handel for deserting Hamburg post and
was reconciled later when he wrote the spectacular, now famous Water
Music for the Kingís royal procession down the Thames.
Handel dominated the English opera scene producing a multitude of
scores. But he lost his popularity with the scoring of the Beggerís
Opera which was based on a libretto by John Gay. It drew his audiences
away and caused his company to lose 50,000 pounds and went into
This worry took years for him to recover but had an everlasting
effect. In 1738, he wrote the ontarios Saul and Israel in Egypt. In
1742, he wrote his immortal and spectacular Messiah, the success of all
in any genre. Messiah was first performed in Dublin which in a short
time became and remained the worldís most popular ontario.
This was followed by some of his most famous and high profile scores.
His failing eyes were unsuccessfully operated and he became blind. Yet,
he produced and conducted annual performances of Messiah. It was after
one of these performances that Handel collapsed and died. Over three
thousand people attended his funeral at Westminster Abbey where he was
Chorus Master - Asitha Tennakone
Satish Casie Chetty
Prajapa de Silva
Dilrukshi Wiratunga Bassoon
Neranjan de Silva