Mr. and Mrs. Lee from Baltimore were kind enough to inform me about an extraordinary cd with a Stabat Mater: plain song in alternation with organ, the famous restored barrel organ in the church of St. Chaffrey! In this Stabat Mater, the organ parts sound like a Mozart opera and the final parts, after stanza 18 is a note for note transcription of one of Cherubini’s aria’s from Le nozze di Figaro: Voi che sapete! A barrel organ in church? I think it is very unusual, and the Mozart style of the organ pieces alternating the Stabat Mater stanza’s, it is fascinating. The English text on the cover of the cd says:
The style of the pieces notated on the perforated rolls of parchment of the
church barrel organ of St-Chaffrey illustrates the ‘present state’ of liturgi-
cal music at the time, which some of the reforming Benedictine monks and
other nineteenth-century musicians unhesitatingly called decadent. They
were quite virulent in their denunciation of secular music, particularly
opera, in worship. They condemned singers who made a habit of accenting
each note of the plainchant melody, sometimes likening the result to the
cries of animals! The most flagrant example is the Stabat Mater, in which
the versets played alternately by the organ are really Mozartian operatic
paraphrases, and on one occasion (the twenty-seventh verset) a note for
note transcription of one of Cherubino’s arias!
I would like to have more detailed information about this Stabat. Anyone who can help me? Thanks!