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.
Mrs Rui Sano contacted me about James Dillon, she wrote
Accidentally I came across your website when I was looking up something else about Stabat Mater, it’s amazing to learn there are hundreds of Stabat Mater’s composed and recorded!
I thought I should drop you a line because I was surprised your list didn’t include the Stabat Mater by James Dillon. I was very lucky to be at a performance in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London in 2015. It was one of the most beautiful and moving concert experience I ever had! I particularly adore the Vivaldi and Pergolesi versions, now I hope to hear the Dillon version again, despite it’s great success it seems there are no CD recordings of the work, a great shame!! Thank you for such an otherwise informative website.
I have never even heard of James Dillon, so I was very happy with the information. Now James Dillon is on the list of Missing CD’s. I discovered James Dillon is a contemporary British composer. He was commissioned to write a Stabat mater for the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK) for an ensemble, choir and electronics.
The Stabat Mater text is expanded with a number of other texts including excerpts from the radical French writer Julia Kristeva’s essay on the Stabat Mater, Rainer Maria Rilke’s early Visions of Christ, John Donne’s A Valediction and excerpts from a letter to Picasso from his mother (in May 1937 Picasso’s mother wrote to him from Barcelona that smoke from the burning city during the fighting made her eyes water). On Youtube you can watch a video about James Dillon.
Last week Mr. Hendrik Decker was so kind to contact me about Liszt’s transcriptions of Rossini’s Stabat Mater. Mr. Decker wrote:
Today I assisted a performance by Albert Martínez-Lorente Romero (trombone) and Francisco Javier Jiménez Martínez (church organ) of an arrangement of the Cujus Animam movement of Rossini’s Stabat Mater by Franz Liszt, in the Jesuit church Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús in Valencia (Spain), I thought that this might be of interest to you, since, on your web page that covers Liszt’s Stabat Mater, no mention is made of the existence of Liszt’s arrangement of Rossini’s Cujus Animam, originally for piano. Apart from the original arrangement for piano and the version of Liszt’s arrangement of Rossini’s Cujus Anima for organ and trombone, as heard today, also an adaptation of Liszts’ arrangement of Rossini’s Cujus Anima for organ and voice exist, according to what can be foud of the world wide web…
As I could not imagine that Hans would not have known about these Liszt transcriptions, I checked, and indeed on the Liszt page Hans says: Liszt frequently made transcriptions for piano from famous compositions of other composers; one was Rossini’s Stabat Mater. However, Mr. Decker provided me with interesting and valueble extra information and thanks to him, I could order a CD with Liszt’s piano version of Cuius Animam Gementem. You can listen to it here:
It is 8 pm and silence descends on the main auditorium of the Oosterpoort Theatre in Groningen (The Netherlands). On stage, a few hundred young people aged between 16 and 18 are lined up behind an orchestra. The youths are the students of the 10th, 11th and 12th grade of the Parcival College in Groningen, which is the school my niece’s children attend. The Parcival College educates the students according to the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, who founded the anthroposophy movement.
The conductor, one of the teachers, ascends the stage. The orchestra begins to play and the voices join in. Enthralled, I listen to Verdi’s Stabat Mater. This short but complex piece is the opening of the concert, an annual performance in the week before Easter in which all 900 students and over 100 staff participate. The students know the words by heart and the enthusiasm in their voices as they sing is deeply moving. Later in the evening they perform Ramirez’ Missa Criolla. In between, the pop choir of the 7th grade perform songs from different era’s in various styles and languages. The 9th grade sing songs in Dutch, which they wrote themselves. The highlight of the evening is the percussion session of the 8th grade. The setting is an airport: people are going on holidays, are waiting on a loved one, and someone is in a rush to catch a plane. There are business people, pilots, mechanics and adventurers. We are brought on a journey by the students, who choreographed the performance and wrote all the rhythms themselves. They use not only drums, but also a selection of different objects, such as shopping trolleys, suitcases, umbrellas and bicycle pumps. It sounds great and it is very entertaining to watch. I came for Verdi’s Stabat Mater, but the whole programme was very impressive and surprising. It was a wonderful evening, thanks to the Parcival College.
Mr. Marc Puckett from Oregon (US) was so kind to inform me about the performance of Sir James MacMillan’s Stabat Mater by British choir The Sixteen on April 22th. This concert will be live-streamed from the Sistine Chapel of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. It will be the first ever concert to be live-streamed from the Vatican! Read More at the site the Genesis Foundation. This Vatican premiere of MacMillan’s Stabat will be available free to audiences worldwide for a month at Classic FM.
Thank you Mr. Pucket!
Visiting Oirschot for the annual Stabat Mater event has been a real highlight of the calendar, since its inception in 1999. This year the Stabat Mater foundation celebrated their 20th anniversary on the 17th and 18th March. We enjoyed the romantic Stabat Mater by Rheinberger and the Dutch premiere of James MacMillans composition, composed in 2016.
The concerts have always been of high quality: impressive, surprising and moving. In the last twenty years Stabat Maters by 37 different composers were performed, with compositions ranging from 15th and 16th century works by Josquin Desprez and Giovanni Pierluigi Palestrina to very modern works by composers such as Hawar Tawfiq (2013) and James MacMillan (2016). The Iraqi composer Hawar Tafique was commissioned to compose a Stabat Mater to celebrate the Foundation’s 15th anniversary. Daan Manneke composed the Stabat Mater for the Foundation’s 10th anniversary in 2013. As all performances were recorded on CD, we were able to add new composers to our collection. This included not only Manneke and Tafique, but also Wüllner, Fiocco, Dvořák (for piano), Dohnányi and several others.
Unfortunately, this year’s event was the final Stabat Mater concert organised by the foundation. It makes me sad and a bit melancholic. For us it means the end of an era. Nevertheless I am grateful for twenty years of Stabat Maters in the St. Petrus Church in Oirschot, which connected the audience with performances that were moving and comforting. I am certain that the efforts of the Foundation in organising these concerts have contributed to the appreciation and love of the Stabat Mater, not only in Brabant, but in the entire Netherlands.