Stabat Mater Op. 58 - Dvorak
BBC Concert Orchestra
Conductor - Daniel Hyde
Soprano - Ailish Tynan
Mezzo-soprano - Catherine Wyn-Rogers
Tenor - Daniel Norman
Bass - William Thomas
Tickets available here.
This performance will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3
‘Stabat Mater dolorosa’ (The sorrowful mother was standing) are the opening words of a 13th-century Christian hymn that portrays Mary’s suffering at the foot of the cross as her son, Jesus, is crucified. This hymn has inspired many Western composers from Josquin and Pergolesi to Poulenc and Macmillan, but none moves the listener more with its grand, symphonic scale as that by Dvořák.
The Stabat Mater was Dvořák’s first major sacred work, sketched and completed between 1875-77 when all three of his children died in infancy. His experience of such harrowing circumstances appears to have been poured into this deeply moving work.
The work’s popularity and success established the composer’s reputation in the English-speaking world, first in England (leading to invitations and commissions from the Royal Philharmonic Society, Leeds and Birmingham triennial festivals) as well as the USA where he would later take up the post, in New York City, of director of the National Conservatory of Music in America.