I just added a CD Via Crucis, a composition by Dick Le Mair, a Dutch composer. In part four (the fourth station of the cross: Jesus meets his mother), he uses the first Stanza of Stabat Mater. This part reminds me of the introduction of Cantate 106 (Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit) by Johann Sebastian Bach. I love this music very much because of its intensity. Dick Le Mair was so kind to send the CD to me. Thank you very much!
On Friday March 15th I attended a special concert in the context of the Art project Troubles Waters (fourteen art stations of the cross), in the Walon Church, Amsterdam. The Hieronymus Ensemble sang Stabat Mater by Orlando di Lasso (1585). Eight men, they sang beautifully! As with Palestrina’s Stabat Mater the choir is divided into two choirs of four voices. The two choirs (upper and lower voices) alternate in singing a pair of stanzas, until they come together in the closing section in a glorious mixture of eight-part polyphony and antiphonal block harmony. I really loved it.
The Walon Church is the 11th station of the Art Project. Here you see the Salt Water Skin Boats by Erica Grimm.
…Salt Water Skin Boats proposes an analogy between our bodies and the vast ecology of the global ocean: between the life-sustaining, precariously balanced ocean chemistry and the chemistry of our own salt-water-filled bodies. The monk of history would cast himself into the ocean at the mercy of the elements to bring vision and light (Salvation) to wherever and whomever God (Divinity, Holy Spirit) so designed. The coracle had no rudder or anchor. Setting sail was an act of faith, of trust. The ambient soundscape, accessible by QR code and cell phone technology, functions as a living, breathing, sounding entity—the life of the ocean brought into the listener’s awareness. In the last two hundred years, human actions have changed the chemistry of the ocean. We are crucifying the earth… (from www.artstations.org)
During the forty days of Lent (from March 6th till April 22th 2019) there will be a very special art project in Amsterdam: Art Stations of the Cross, fourteen stations of the cross through the center of Amsterdam. The work of leading artists from home and abroad gives a contemporary translation to the suffering of Christ as often depicted in fourteen stations. The first station of Cross is the condemnation of Jesus and the last is his burial. Last year this exposition was in Manhattan (2018) and before in Washington DC (2017) and London (2016). For me there is a direct link to Stabat Mater Dolorosa, the twelfth station: The grieving Mother stood weeping beside the cross where her Son was hanging. To help you find your way, you can use the map below.
Last week I got a very special mail from Mr. Keith Stroup. He recently purchased an orphaned leaf from a Flemish Book of Hours, which has a sizable portion of The Stabat Mater text scribed upon it. The leaf had been matted decades ago with the only information stating that it was scribed in Flanders ca. 1500. It begins with the last line of stanza 10: Ut sibi complaceam. It follows the Analecta version to the 20th stanza: Fac ut animae donetur. The last line Paradisi Gloria is missing. Mr. Stroup send me two pictures of the leaf.
This is the recto, or front of the leaf:
This is the verso, or back of the leaf:
Thank you very much Mr. Stroup!
Mr. Hubert Beckwith was so kind to contact me; he provided me with new information, an addition to the webpage Stabat Mater text. On this page Hans has written about the origins of Stabat Mater text: …The oldest reference in a liturgical source is a Breviary from Arezzo, a manuscript dated 1417. ..
That seems to be incorrect now! Mr. Hubert wrote to me:
…Not long after your husband died, an earlier liturgical use of Stabat Mater was discovered. Here is a short article in English that describes: the discovery of the famous Stabat Mater being used as a sequence in the Gradual produced by a convent of Dominican nuns in Bologna in the later thirteenth century. This is by far the earliest known manuscript example of this hymn used as a sequence rather than as a devotional hymn. It has been commonly believed that the hymn only became used as a sequence in the late middle ages. (Its melody there is not found in other sources.) The article links to a research study by Cesarino Ruini (in Italian) that discusses the discovery in great detail. Follow the link “scarica questo file PDF.” I hope you can find someone to translate it.
As a brief summary: The sentences about early sources might be changed to something like “The Stabat mater first appeared as a liturgical sequence in the later 13th century, in a Gradual from a Dominican convent in Bologna. Since the beginning of the 14th century it can be found in prayer books.
Again, many thanks to you and your late husband for your richly informative and elegant website…
I wil make a correction to the webpage as soon as possible. Thank you very much Mr. Beckwith!
I just added the CD Spirit, Strength & Sorrow by The Sixteen with Harry Christophers. It includes six (!) settings of the Stabat Mater text, three settings are new ones by: Alissa Firsova (British with Russian parents), Tõnu Kõrvits, from Estonia and Matthew Martin, from England. Spirit Strength and Sorrow is the result of the commissioning collaboration with the Genesis Foundation. The CD begins with the plainsong and ends with Claudio Casciolini and Domenico Scarlatti, a must for every Stabat Mater lover!
Mr. Pavel Brochin from Germany, was so kind to inform me about the Stabat Mater composition by Piret Pormeister-Rips from Estonia. Mr Brochins choir, Audienda-Choir Krefeld, was invited to take part in the 5th Rhine-Westphalia Choral Festival in Krefeld. He was looking for a bigger contemporary Estonian composition, and his friends recommended him Piret Rips’ Stabat Mater. Piret Rips made a new orchestral version. The first one was for string orchestra only. His choir performed this work in September 2006. Mr. Brochin was so kind to send the CD with recordings of the Rheinisch-Westfälisches Landes Chorfest Krefeld to send to me. Thank you very much!
I think Rossini was one of the first composers Hans added to his collection. At this moment I have four CD’s with the complete performance of Rossini’s Stabat Mater. The fifth one is Liszt transcription of the tenor aria Cujus Animam Gementem, on piano by Frederic Lamond.
I have always loved Rossini; the last 15 years I visited several performances with Rossini’s Stabat. But yesterday was a very special event. Rossini’s Stabat was performed by the students (choir and orchestra) of the Royal Conservatoire in the Hague in the Nieuwe Kerk. Conductor was Peter Dijkstra with the soloists: Natalie Pérez (soprano), Vita van der Dussen (mezzo soprano), Felipe Gallegos (tenor) and Einar Gudmundsson (bass).
Actually Rossini was a composer of mainly comic operas, that’s why his religious works sometimes have been criticized as less serious. I could not resist reading Hans’ webpage about Rossini where he cites the composer (notes to the Petite Messe Solonelle):
“Here it is then, this poor little Mass. Have I written truly sacred music, or just damn bad music? I was born for opera buffa, as you well know. Not much skill, but quite a bit of feeling – that’s how I’d sum it up. Blessed be thy name, and grant me a place in Paradise“.
Since my Ultimate Stabat Mater Website has been renewed, in 2015, there was top right a slideshow. You can see photos of Mary, standing near the cross on which Jesus is hanging (Stabat Mater Dolorosa). Many photos were made in churches, all over the world. Often it is the twelfth station of the Way of the Cross. Taking these photos became a habit for Hans and me, wherever we went. I still do it and others are helping me sometimes.
However, I always have regretted that it was not possible to click on the photo for a better display and more information about the location and artist.
But now I have, thanks to my grandson Guido, an Instagram account and this account has been imbedded in my site. Clicking on the photo top right will bring you to my Instagram where you can see a collection of my photos on this subject for almost the last fifteen years. I myself am very happy with this addition of my Ultimate Stabat Mater Website, and I hope my visitors will be too!
I have got a mail from Heikki Hattunen:
Hello! Thank you for your website. The Finnish translation on your site is a poetic one. I wish you could add one which is accurate word-by-word. This helped me understand the meaning of each word when preparing to sing the text.
This is by Juhani Koivisto (email@example.com).
Sincerely, Heikki Hattunen
Thank you very much, Heikki! I have added this translation to my site.