The Catholic Culture Podcast: Ep. 72 – Stabat Mater

Apr 8, 2020

Stabat Mater, a medieval hymn that was long used as the
sequence for the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin
Mary, is now commonly sung between each Station of the Cross. This
prayer, in which we ask Our Lady to help us experience the same
sorrow and love with which she participated in her Son’s Passion,
has been set to music by many great composers.

This episode explores the most famous and influential setting of
Stabat Mater, completed by the 26-year-old Giovanni
Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736) as he was dying of tuberculosis. An
interview with leading Pergolesi scholar Francesco Cotticelli is
combined with excerpts from the piece as recorded by La Nuova
Musica (used with permission).

Contents

[2:11] The Stabat Mater text in the context of liturgy
and Marian devotion

[6:30] Pergolesi’s bio and career

[9:30] Aria from L’Olimpiade (used with permission from
Lyubov Petrova)

[17:37] Deathbed composition of the Stabat Mater

[18:52] Pergolesi’s place and innovations in sacred music of the
time

[23:07] First movement, Stabat Mater dolorosa

[35:04] Second movement, Cuius animan gementem

[40:32] Pergolesi’s approach to text-setting: alternating
between contemplation and action

[43:20] Sixth movement, Vidit suum dulcem natum

[50:35] Seventh movement, Eia, Mater, fons amoris

[56:45] Musical characteristics of the baroque and galant
styles

[58:27] Ninth movement, Sancta mater, istud agas

[1:11:44] Popular settings of the Stabat Mater before
Pergolesi

[1:12:49] Twelfth movement, Quando corpus morietur

[1:17:20] The somber ending to the piece: hope amidst sorrow

[1:20:30] Contemporary and later criticism of the piece for
being too theatrical

[1:23:11] Other interesting settings of the Stabat
Mater

Links

Recording by La Nuova Musica (featured in this episode) http://www.harmoniamundi.com/#!/albums/2239

Also recommended: Recording by Concerto Italiano
https://www.amazon.com/Pergolesi-Scarlatti-Stabat-Mater-Alessandrini/dp/B00CMSP1HU/

Website devoted to settings of the Stabat Mater https://www.stabatmater.info/

The text https://www.stabatmater.info/english-translation/

Lyubov Petrova sings Aristea’s aria from Pergolesi’s opera
L’Olimpiade https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_SsVAXMMqo

La Nuova Musica http://lanuovamusica.co.uk/

Lyubov Petrova https://imgartists.com/roster/29757/

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