Notes and Editorial Reviews
Religion has long been the inspiration behind many works of art, and after the Passions –
which narrate the story of the Crucifixion as recorded in the Gospels – the Stabat Mater
dolorosa stands as the second most impor- tant genre connected to Easter. Based on a
poem used as a sequence and hymn in the Roman liturgy, it reflects on the suffering of Mary during Jesus’s execution.
This release is dedicated to some of the most famous settings of the Stabat mater, revealing the genre’s varying treatment by composers over the centuries. From Palestrina’s effective use of polyphony to Pergolesi’s unusually sparse instrumental accompaniment and lack of chorus, we move forward in time to contributions by Vivaldi and Haydn, the latter
of whom employs daring harmonies in order to heighten the text’s depictions of pain and anguish. Dvorák is next to follow,
with Boccherini’s stirring chamber setting rounding off the compilation; though proba-
bly conceived in response to the death of his children, the former composer’s work features music that is largely secular and symphonic in design, thus comparable to the structure of a Romantic oratorio.
These compositions rank among some of the most famous and affecting music ever composed. The compilation makes for a fascinating journey through the history of sacred choral composition, detailing many an inspiring performance along the way; a fantastic addition to Brilliant Classics’
comprehensive library of choral music.
• Famous settings of the Stabat Mater dolorosa.
• Sung texts available on www.brilliantclassics.com. Read less
Works on This Recording
Stabat Mater by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
Timothy Brown (Organ),
Julia Bishop (Violin),
Angharad Gruffydd Jones (Soprano),
Joanna Levine (Cello),
Lawrence Zazzo (Countertenor),
Joanna Parker (Violin),
Peter Whiskin (Viola),
Mark Levy (Viol)
Written: 1736; Pozzuoli, Italy
Stabat Mater a 8 by Giovanni Palestrina
Cambridge Clare College Choir
Stabat Mater in F minor, RV 621 by Antonio Vivaldi
Netherlands Bach Society Choir
Written: Venice, Italy
Date of Recording: 07/2000
Length: 16 Minutes 3 Secs.
Stabat Mater, H 20 bis by Franz Joseph Haydn
Stuttgart Chamber Choir,
Württemberg Chamber Orchestra
Written: 1767; Eszterhazá, Hungary
Stabat Mater, Op. 58/B 71 by Antonín Dvorák
Stefania Woytowicz (Soprano),
Vera Soukupová (Mezzo Soprano),
Ivo Zidek (Tenor),
Kim Borg (Bass)
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1876-1877; Bohemia
Date of Recording: 1962
Length: 98 Minutes 41 Secs.
Stabat mater in G minor, Op. 61/G 532 by Luigi Boccherini
Barbara Vignudelli (Soprano)
Flavio Emilio Scogna
Benedetto Marcello Chamber Orchestra
Written: 1781; Spain
Length: 45 Minutes 42 Secs.
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