Vivaldi – Stabat Mater – Philippe Pierlot, Carlos Mena & Ricercar Consort

Antonio Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater for solo alto and orchestra, RV 621; performed by the Spanish countertenor Carlos Mena and Ricercar Consort, the Belgian instrumental ensemble conducted by Philippe Pierlot, the French flutist and first flute of the Orchestre National de France.

Programme

  1. Stabat Mater Dolorosa 0:00
  2. Cujus Animam Gementem 2:32
  3. O quam Tristis et Afflicta 4:25
  4. Quis est homo, qui non fleret 6:12
  5. Quis non posset contristari 8:58
  6. Pro peccatis suae gentis 11:02
  7. Vidit Suum Dulcem Natum 12:00
  8. Eia Mater Fons Amoris 12:48
  9. Fac ut ardeat cor meum in amando Christum Deum 16:05
  10. Amen 17:32

It was composed by the Italian baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi on one of the Sorrows of Mary. It was premiered in 1712. The work is scored for violins I & II, violas, solo alto (or countertenor, as performed here) and basso continuo.

The Marian hymn Stabat Mater is generally ascribed to Jacopo da Todi (ca. 1230-1306). Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater only uses the first ten stanzas of the hymn. The music is keyed in F minor, and is generally slow and melancholy, with allegro only being used once in the Amen, and all the other movements not going faster than andante. Movements 4, 5, and 6 are identical to the first three musically.

Lyrics

Latin

Stabat mater dolorosa
juxta Crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius.

Cuius animam gementem,
contristatam et dolentem
pertransivit gladius.

O quam tristis et afflicta
fuit illa benedicta,
mater Unigeniti!

Quae mœrebat et dolebat,
pia Mater, dum videbat
nati pœnas inclyti.

Quis est homo qui non fleret,
matrem Christi si videret
in tanto supplicio?

Quis non posset contristari
Christi Matrem contemplari
dolentem cum Filio?

Pro peccatis suæ gentis
vidit Iesum in tormentis,
et flagellis subditum.

Vidit suum dulcem Natum
moriendo desolatum,
dum emisit spiritum.

Eia, Mater, fons amoris
me sentire vim doloris
fac, ut tecum lugeam.

Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
in amando Christum Deum
ut sibi complaceam.

Sancta Mater, istud agas,
crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.

Tui Nati vulnerati,
tam dignati pro me pati,
pœnas mecum divide.

Fac me tecum pie flere,
crucifixo condolere,
donec ego vixero.

Juxta Crucem tecum stare,
et me tibi sociare
in planctu desidero.

Virgo virginum præclara,
mihi iam non sis amara,
fac me tecum plangere.

Fac, ut portem Christi mortem,
passionis fac consortem,
et plagas recolere.

Fac me plagis vulnerari,
fac me Cruce inebriari,
et cruore Filii.

Flammis ne urar succensus,
per te, Virgo, sim defensus
in die iudicii.

Christe, cum sit hinc exire,
da per Matrem me venire
ad palmam victoriæ.

Quando corpus morietur,
fac, ut animæ donetur
paradisi gloria. Amen.

English translation

At the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to her Son to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.

O how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother, highly blest,
of the sole-begotten One.

Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ’s dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother’s pain untold?

For the sins of His own nation,
She saw Jesus wracked with torment,
All with scourges rent:

She beheld her tender Child,
Saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.

O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord:

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.

Holy Mother! pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified:

Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live:

By the Cross with thee to stay,
there with thee to weep and pray,
is all I ask of thee to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine;

Let me, to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound,
steep my soul till it hath swooned,
in His very Blood away;

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in His awful Judgment Day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
be Thy Mother my defense,
be Thy Cross my victory;

While my body here decays,
may my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in Paradise with Thee. Amen.

Sources

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