The 13th-century Latin sequence, set by many famous composers of the past, receives a fresh expression and intensity in Karl Jenkins's setting. The work is divided into twelve movements and incorporates additional texts including Ave verum corpus (originally composed for Bryn Terfel), Lament by Carol Barratt, and English texts derived from ancient Babylonian and mediaeval Persian sources. By turns dramatic and reflective, Stabat Mater will be eagerly seized on by Jenkins fans everywhere. Suitable for choirs of intermediate standard upwards. An EMI Classics CD recording by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by the composer, is due for release in March 2008.
Stabat Mater is a thirteenth century Roman Catholic sequence attributed to Jacopone da Todi. It has been set to music by many composers, among them Haydn, Dvorak, Vivaldi, Rossini, Pergolesi, Stanford, Gounod, Penderecki, Poulenc, Szymanowski, Alessandro Scarlatti (1724), Domenico Scarlatti (1715), Pedro de Escobar, Arvo Pärt and Giuseppe Verdi. Its title is an abbreviation of the first line, Stabat Mater Dolorosa ("The sorrowful mother was standing"). The hymn, one of the most powerful and immediate of medieval poems, meditates on the suffering of Mary, Jesus Christ's mother, during his crucifixion. Karl's setting extends this to a universal depiction of grief by using ancient text from the area (Holy Land/Middle East) that will be sung in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic (the lingua franca of the period) and a contemporary poem, sung in English. The orchestration includes instruments indigenous to the area, percussion such as the darbuka & riq and the woodwind duduk.