University of Hartford "H" Magazine - Winter 2019

University of Hartford

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Sunday Afternoon at the Opera - Dvorak: Stabat Mater

03/11/2018 1:00 pm
03/11/2018 4:30 pm


Sunday Afternoon at the Opera host Keith Brown writes:

We return to the Lenten-type programming of choral music on this the fourth Sunday of Lent, 2018. Antonin Dvorak's setting of the Latin devotional poem Stabat Mater (1877) established his international reputation. In terms of length of performance, it is the longest musical treatment of the medieval text. In the history of Western art music many composers have been drawn to it. The text describes the emotional suffering of Jesus' mother Mary as she beholds her Son hanging upon the Cross. Affecting in its simplicity, sincerity and heartfelt compassion, the Stabat Mater is one of Dvorak's most endearing creations.

I have presented various recordings of it in Eastertide seasons past. The one I have selected for this season I have previously broadcast on Sunday, April 13, 2003. This is an American recorded interpretation. Robert Schafer leads the Washington Orchestra and Chorus. They were recorded at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC in 2000. Naxos released the Stabat Mater on two CD's in 2002. The second CD is filled out by Dvorak's joyous choral setting of Psalm 149 in Czech language, which you will also get to hear.