KGOSF CD007 Antonio Vivaldi - Stabat Mater

[Translate to English:] Komorni godalni orkester Slovenske filharmonije

Antonio Vivaldi
Stabat Mater

Mirjam Kalin, mezzosopran

Arcangelo Corelli (1653 - 1713):
Concerto grosso op. 6, št. 3 v c-molu

1. Largo
2. Allegro
3. Grave
4. Vivace
5. Allegro

Antonio Vivaldi (1678 - 1741):
Stabat Mater (1712)

6. Stabat Mater dolorosa. Largo
7. Cujus animam gementem. Adagio
8. O quam tristis. Andante
9. Quis est homo. Largo
10. Quis non posset. Adagio
11. Pro peccatis suae gentis. Andante
12. Eja mater, fons amoris. Largo
13. Fac ut ardeat. Lento
14. Amen. Allegro
15. Anonimus: Ave Maria

The medieval poem of Stabat Mater derives from the Italian hymns. Its theme is closely linked with the Franciscan passions (Marian lamentations), once frequently performed in Italy and Germany. The poem depicts the sorrows of the Virgin Mary at the Crucifixion, lamenting her son’s suffering. Most probably its author was a Franciscan monk, Jacopone da Todi (1228 – 1306). The text was first intended for reading and prayer. It first appeared in prayer books in the 15th century, as its oldest records date back to 1417 (Breviary of Arezzo). The poem has twenty stanzas consisting of three verses in a trochaic meter. The first two verses of each stanza are in an octameter, while the third is in a heptameter. The rhyme follows the AAB CCB scheme, linking two stanzas at a time, which corresponds to the general medieval use, as it made it easier to perform monotonous monosyllabic Gregorian chanting. This poem has been translated into many languages. The first Slovene translation dates back to 1678. It was published in the Bratovske bukvice svetega Roženkranca (The Brethren Books of St Rosary in English) by Matija Kastelec under the title Lepa stara peisen (A Beautiful Old Poem in English). To date, this poem has undergone several rewritings and can be sung to the original Gregorian melody.

One of the text’s most beautiful settings to music from the Baroque period, which can easily be compared to that of Pergolesi, is undoubtedly by Antonio Vivaldi (1678 – 1741) composed in 1712 for the church of the Brescia Oratory. It is interesting to observe that Vivaldi took only half of the text (the first ten stanzas), which he used in nine movements. The music of the first three movements is repeated in the next three, while taking into account the succession of the text. This is interrupted in the ninth movement after the tenth stanza, when the text jumps to the final “Amen”. It is obvious that Vivaldi intended to set to music only the most significant part of the text, which he achieved with an admirable perfection. All this clearly refutes speculations that this composition is a mere fragment of some larger work by Vivaldi. All movements, except for the final, dynamic Allegro, which reflects the stylistic features of the time, are written in slow tempi. Together with the minor scale, these movements evoke a feeling of sorrow and suffering. When composing this music, Vivaldi had in mind a falsetto or a castrato and a string orchestra, and an organ instead of the usual harpsichord when performing the continuo part.

Klemen Hvala