The Stabat Mater opens with an extended setting of the first four verses of the traditional text, for soprano alto, tenor and bass soloists and chorus, the mood of sad contemplation reflected in the key of B minor and the descending contour of the melodic lines. The tenor soloist introduces the second verse, as the key moves into D major, and the soprano starts the third verse, the bass soloist the fourth, before a return to the first verse brings a dramatic climax. The E minor setting of Quis est homo and the following three verses is entrusted to the soloists, and the C minor Eia Mater is a solemn choral movement, followed by the B flat minor Fac ut ardeat, introduced by the bass soloist, the chorus adding the following plea.
There is a lightening of mood and quicker pace in the E flat major choral Tui nati vulnerati, with its 6 / 8 metre, given weight by the contrapuntal central section. Tenor soloist and chorus share the B major setting of Fac me vere, with the touches of melancholy the texts dictate. This is followed by the gentle hymn-like
A major Virgo virginum, for chorus. Fac ut portem Christi mortem is scored for soprano and tenor soloists and introduced by the woodwind and horns in a D major Larghetto. The two voices are intertwined in a movement dominated by the opening motif in music of pious optimism. The following D minor Inflammatus et accensus is resolutely baroque in feeling, its alto solo above the onward tread of the bass-line. There is a contrasting central section in what is in fact a heartfelt da capo aria. The four solo voices return with the chorus for the final Quando corpus morietur, with its initial reminiscence of the opening of the whole work, the key of B minor giving way to a final D major that hymns the glory of Paradise in a great climax of sound. This leads to the splendid optimism of the concluding Amen.
"Robert Shafer dirigiert seinen Chor und das Washington Orchestra in einer frischen, gut disziplinierten Interpretation. Der Chor ist eher nach hinten versetzt, aber Shafers saubere Direktheit trägt dazu bei, jegliches Gefühl der Sentimentalität zu vermeiden. Herausragend unter den Solisten ist Christine Brewer, und John Aler singt, wenn auch nicht so sanft wie sonst, so doch sehr sensibel. Der Mezzo, Marietta Simpson, ist tremolierend inder Aufnahme, während Ding Gao in den Bass-Soli klar und zuverlässig ist." (Penguin Guide)
Robert Shafer conducts his chorus and the Washington Orchestra in a fresh, well-disciplined reading. The chorus is rather backwardly placed, but Shafer’s clean-cut directness helps to avoid any feeling of sentimentality. Outstanding among the soloists is Christine Brewer, and John Aler, though not as sweet-tone as usual, sings very sensitively too. The mezzo, Marietta Simpson, is tremulous as recorded, as Ding Gao is clear and reliable in the bass solos. (Penguin Guide)
Disk 1 von 2
Stabat mater dolorosa
Stabat Mater, Op. 58, B. 71: Quis est homo?
Stabat Mater, Op. 58, B. 71: Eia, mater
Stabat Mater, Op. 58, B. 71: Fac ut ardeat cor meum
Stabat Mater, Op. 58, B. 71: Tui nati vulnerati
Stabat Mater, Op. 58, B. 71: Fac me tecum flere
Stabat Mater, Op. 58, B. 71: Virgo virginum praeclara
Disk 2 von 2
Stabat Mater, Op. 58, B. 71: Fac ut portem Christi mortem
Stabat Mater, Op. 58, B. 71: Inflammatus et accensus
Stabat Mater, Op. 58, B. 71: Quando corpus morietur