The legendary Italian composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi was born 300 years ago, in 1710. To mark the anniversary, Naïve re-issues three renowned recordings to feature his choral music, in a specially-priced box set, headed by the Gramophone award-winning version of his Stabat Mater by Rinaldo Alessandrini and Concerto Italiano, considered one of the best ever recorded…
Also featured in the bargain “3 for the price of 1” set are other short pieces by Pergolesi, plus more by Alessandro Scarlatti and Leonardo Leo.
Pan flutist Leo Rojas (full name: Juan Leonardo Santillia Rojas) was born in Ecuador in 1984 and is best known for winning the 2011 season of the German casting show Das Supertalent. Rojas moved to Spain in 2000 and then to Germany, living in Berlin with his Polish wife; he often performed as a street musician until a passer-by informed him about the casting show. He became a contestant in the show's fifth season, succeeding to the semi-finals with his rendition of "El Condór Pasa" (best known in a 1970 version by Simon & Garfunkel) and then winning the show with a cover of "Einsamer Hirte," a hit song written by James Last and performed by Gheorghe Zamfir in 1977. Rojas' version of "Einsamer Hirte" was released as a single shortly after the show's finale (reaching number 48 on the singles charts), followed by his first full-length album, Spirit of the Hawk.
Leo was born in San Vito degli Schiavoni (current San Vito dei Normanni, province of Brindisi), then part of the Kingdom of Naples.
He became a student at the Conservatorio della Pietà dei Turchini at Naples in 1703, and was a pupil first of Francesco Provenzale and later of Nicola Fago. It has been supposed that he was a pupil of Pitoni and Alessandro Scarlatti, but he could not possibly have studied with either of these composers, although he was undoubtedly influenced by their compositions. His earliest known work was a sacred drama, L'infedelta abbattuta, performed by his fellow-students in 1712.