Dvořák Stabat Mater
7:45pm Sunday 27 July 2014
Worcester Cathedral, WR1 2LA
- Festival Chorus
- Philharmonia Orchestra
- Geraint Bowen conductor
- Eleanor Dennis soprano
- Catherine Wyn-Rogers mezzo-soprano
- Paul Nilon tenor
- Matthew Rose bass-baritone
Conducted by the composer himself at Three Choirs Festival Worcester in 1884, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater is a testament to his extraordinary musical talent. Completed after the tragic deaths of his three children, the piece embodies the composer’s journey from grief to hope in an intensely emotional setting of the 13th-century poem.
Kindly supported by Worcester City Council
- Event information
Antonín Dvořák Stabat Mater
Dvorak began to write this work in 1875 following the death of his newborn daughter Josefa within days of her birth. Set to Jacopone da Todi’s 13th century poem Stabat Mater which expressed Mary’s grief at the death of her son Jesus, this was the perfect portrait of parental love and pain. In 1877 Dvorak completed the work following the unbelievably tragic deaths of his two surviving children; his second daughter Ruzena, a toddler, who drank from a bottle of phosphorous in August of that year followed only weeks later by his first-born son Otakar who died of smallpox. The finished piece stands as one of the towering monuments of choral music.
Divided into 10 movements, Dvorak’s personal investment in this intensely emotional religious poem is evident as he wrings every ounce of expression out of the text. Performed for the first time in London in 1883, the clamour from the British public to hear this work again was so intense, that Dvorak himself was brought to England the following March to conduct an orchestra of 150 and a choir of 900 (!) in its performance in the Albert Hall. He returned in September 1884 to conduct the work in Worcester Cathedral as part of the celebrations to mark the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Cathedral.
Tickets for the festival will be available from Thursday the 17th of April 2014
Recommended recordings available to buy online:
- Deutche Gramophone - Dvorak: Stabat Mater - Mathis/Kubelic
- PHI - Dvorak: Stabat Mater - Eerens/Herreweghe