Thursday, 28 May 2009

271. Giochinno Rossini - Stabat Mater (1832, rev. 1841)


Title: Stabat Mater
Performers: Luba Orgonasova, Cecilia Bartoli, Wiener Philharmonic
Conductor: Myung-Whun Chung
Year: 1995
Length: 58 minutes


Rossini's Stabat Mater is a truly impressive piece of religious music, there is an innate sense of theatre to Rossini's music which is here perfectly applied to the theatre of Catholic ritual.

This being said there is nothing particularly original about it, Rossini is not the most original of composers and this Stabat Mater is looking back at religious music with some operatic moments which are very much Rossini's own as in the second movement for example.

It is in the great set pieces that begin and finish the Stabat Mater that Rossini's theatricality most impresses, this is music that knows perfectly well what it is doing and does it well. The lack of originality is not much of a set back for music which serves its purpose so powerfully and beautifully.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Stabat Mater is a thirteenth century Roman Catholic sequence variously attributed to Innocent III and Jacopone da Todi. Its title is an abbreviation of the first line, Stabat mater dolorosa ("The sorrowful mother stood"). The hymn, one of the most powerful and immediate of extant medieval poems, meditates on the suffering of Mary, Jesus Christ's mother, during his crucifixion. It is sung at the liturgy on the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows.

First movement, Stabat Mater Dolorosa:

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