Album: Antonio Pappano, Rossini: Stabat Mater (EMI Classics)

Antonio Pappano's winning streak continues with Rossini's Stabat Mater, a companion piece to last year's Verdi Messa Da Requiem in its almost operatic treatment of devotional material.

It's exquisitely realised, in settings which range from subtle, barely perceptible hints of strings to rousing orchestral crescendos. The blend of Anna Netrebko's soprano and Joyce DiDonato's mezzo-soprano is particularly effective, both in duet form on "Quis est homo", and underpinned by Lawrence Brownlee's tenor on the opening "Stabat mater dolorosa", while Ildebrando D'Arcangelo brings a magisterial poise to his solo on "Pro peccatis suae gentis".

DOWNLOAD THIS Stabat Mater Dolorosa; Quis Est Homo; Pro Peccatis Suae Gentis