About Pietà

Michelangelos Pieta statue

Jess Dandy contralto
Roderick Williams baritone
Amy Dickson saxophone
Philharmonia Orchestra
Three Choirs Festival Chorus
Worcester Cathedral Choristers
Samuel Hudson conductor

JS Bach arr. Webern Ricercare 8'
R Strauss
Metamorphosen 30'
Richard Blackford
Pietà 44'

The Stabat Mater, a text depicting Mary’s suffering as Christ’s mother during his crucifixion, has been set to music many times. In his poignant reimagining Pietà, Richard Blackford combines the text of the Stabat Mater with poems from the Requiem cycle by Anna Akhmatova, written when she believed that her son, like her husband, had been taken away for execution during Russiaʼs ʻGreat Purgeʼ. The piece, awarded the 2020 Ivor Novello Composer Award for choral music, moves from darkness, anger and grief to end with the hope of salvation. The first half of the concert includes Strauss’s mournful Metamorphosen, written during the last days of the Second World War and a lament for the Germany he had known which had been destroyed.

Supported by The Elmley Foundation