La Cenerentola - Overture Gioachino Rossini Download 'La Cenerentola - Overture' on iTunes
Katherine focuses on early and Renaissance pieces that provide the foundations for music as we know it today.
'This is a stirring piece from a remarkable English composer, organist and violinist,' says Katherine. 'Stanley achieved great success in his day despite being almost totally blind.' Many of the greatest musicians of that time, including Handel, often went along to hear Stanley play the organ in church.
Tomaso Albinoni composed marvellous orchestral music and operas – more than 80 he claimed. Albinoni’s famous Adagio however was really the creation of a 20th century musicologist who claimed to have found a fragment of a composition by Albinoni and then developed it further. 'I don’t really care where it came from to be honest,' says Katherine, 'because it’s beautiful – and a must for anyone’s collection.'
The Miserere is a setting of a Psalm, most probably composed during the 1630s for use in the Sistine Chapel during special Easter services. Legend has it that it was forbidden to write this music down as it was only allowed to be performed at very specific times. Then one day, 14-year old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart heard the piece while he was in Rome. Afterwards, he wrote it down entirely from memory, returning to the Sistine Chapel two days later to make sure he’d got it right. 'And thanks to young Wolfie we can now all hear just how sublime it is,' says Katherine.
Corelli was a hugely influential violinist and composer – so much so that many others referred to him as their example and inspiration. Even such greats as J. S. Bach and Handel studied Corelli’s works, and it’s possible still to trace generations of violinists from student to teacher, back to Corelli.
It’s as simple as three violins, one cello, and eight bars of music repeated 28 times. Johann Pachelbel’s Canon has risen in popularity to become one of the best-known pieces of classical music ever written. It’s hard to imagine a time when this piece wasn’t a firm favourite at weddings, but in reality, not very much is known about Pachelbel’s most famous piece.
'Among my discoveries I particularly love the music of Giovanni Batista Pergolesi,' says Katherine. Pergolesi was an important early composer of operas and choral music who tragically only lived to the age of 26. He wrote his sublime Stabat Mater in the last few weeks of his life in 1736 while he lay dying of tuberculosis in a Franciscan monastery.'
Monteverdi’s opera The Coronation of Poppaea was one of the first operas to actually draw upon real people and events as its inspiration. It was first performed in Venice in the 1643 carnival season but then it became totally neglected until the score was rediscovered more than 200 years later. 'One of the most beautiful tunes is Pur ti Miro, and I particularly like a lovely arrangement for violin played by Joshua Bell,' says Katherine.
Domenico Zipoli was a devout Jesuit who devoted his life to the church in Paraguay and helped develop the musical talents of the native Guarani people. 'We know hardly anything about his sublime piece, Elevazione,' says Katherine, 'except that it’s a must for any classical music collection.'