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Dvořák: Stabat mater, Op. 58 Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks

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One of the best ever recordings of Dvořák's "Stabat Mater": a stirring and moving album featuring of the best romantic works of religious music.

The poem "Stabat Mater" from the middle ages has been set to music perhaps more than any other in musical history. The pain of the Holy Mother of God at the crucifixion inspired many composers, like Josquin, Palestrina, Vivaldi, Pergolesi, Haydn, Boccherini, Schubert, Rossini and – with one of the most comprehensive scores – Antonín Dvořák. What moved the Bohemian composer to take up such a comprehensive work in 1876 is not clear – he was not under contractual obligation. The swift composition of the work in 1887 was linked to a series of unfortunate events – within the span of a few weeks, he lost his three year old daughter Ružena and his one year old son Otakar. Dvořák's "Stabat Mater" draws on this personal tragedy, but also on the power of faith to console in such situations. The choir and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under Mariss Jansons have put together a live recording from March 2015, performed in the Hercules Room of the Munich Residence that captures the immense power and the acoustic challenge that this wonderful line up have mastered admirable. Jansons has managed to unify the intensity of the score: orchestra, choir, the four soloists (tenor Christian Elsner, soprano Erin Wall, mezzo-soprano Mihoko Fujimura and bass Liang Li) shine without eclipsing any of the others. The tension lasting about 76 minutes from "Stabat Mater dolorosa" through to "Amen", doesn't lapse for a single beat. The result is a rousing and moving album, one of the very best recordings of Dvořák's "Stabat Mater" ever.

Salvatore Pichireddu | Jan 19, 2016
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