Alessandro Scarlatti is one of the most under-performed of the Italian Baroque masters (not a single major piece in the current gramophone catalogue). It is particularly frustrating that the present work, short and for modest forces, has for so long been overshadowed by the settings of the same text by Domenico Scarlatti and by Pergolesi. Domenico's Stabat Mater is in any case in a very different tradition, a kind of up-dating of the massive choral sonorities of the more conservative Roman school. Pergolesi's was actually commissioned by the same Neapolitan brotherhood who had commissioned Alessandro's, and it is for the same forces. It was intended to replace Alessandro's work, which was presumably beginning to sound dated, and it has indeed replaced it only too successfully in our popular consciousness.