Pergolesi has been a figure of enduring romantic fame as a prolific composer who died at the age of only 26. Hugely admired after his death, relatively little is known about him. His life and works have been the subject of a great deal of speculation: his early biographer, the Marquis of Villarosa , was himself the author of countless anecdotes, many later revealed to be fictitious. Unscrupulous musicians used his name as a ticket to success, forging his signature on works that the composer had never touched. Scholars are to this day trying to ascertain what he actually penned himself, and many of his works are now known to have been wrongly attributed (the Concerti Armonic i are a case in point, thought to have been composed by Pergolesi until 1980). However, his influence on the rise of comic opera with his famous intermezzo La Serva Padronais well-established, while his Stabat mater–...

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