15. March 2009

Klangraum Krems Minoritenkirche

Joseph Haydn "Stabat Mater dolorosa"

Joseph Haydn Sinfonia F-Moll  „La Passione“  Hob I/49 (1768)
Hubert Gaisbauer  Lacrymosa. A literary meditation.
Joseph Haydn  Stabat mater dolorosa  Hob XX bis (1767)

Ellen Van Lier (soprano); Martina Mikelic (alto); Bernhard Berchtold (tenor); Robert Holl (bass),
Alfred Endelweber (musical direction)

Three centuries ago, Pope Benedict XIII officially integrated the “Stabat Mater” sequence into the liturgy. The then popular folk stanzas on Mary’s sorrows about her son dying at the cross became, as a mass song and as a hymn in the liturgy of the hours, a fixed part of the proper for the Seven Sorrows of Mary celebrations on the Friday before Palm Sunday and on September 15. A number of moving melodized versions were then created in church music. 140 years after Benedict’s decree, the composer Joseph Haydn, born in Rohrau in Lower Austria, dedicated his work to the sequence. In the Haydn Commemorative Year 2009 the KirchenTonartKrems puts Haydn’s “Stabat Mater” at the very beginning of “Imago Dei”. With arias followed by duets, quartets and choirs, one of Haydn’s personal favorite works is at the same time his saddest and most contemplative music, in which the then young composer—“Stabat Mater” was created in 1767 on his own initiative—partly moves in seizing G minor regions and partly in a spiritual vocal style as it was later on typical for Mozart’s sacral musical works.

Haydn’s music triggers the same intense musical consternation as the drastic images of suffering of the “Stabat Mater” itself. It creates a kind of closeness between people, between Mary’s fellow sufferers and with her and God’s Son. It is this humaneness that is inherent to Haydn’s music and that makes both musicians and listeners experience immediate condolence. By the composer’s musical ascesis, his negation of pathos, the sequences of suffering and pain become a passionate act of devotion. In his arias and choir pieces, in which the sensations of melancholia and comfort, of tolerance and sacrifice are spread out, Haydn makes use of deep affects rather than superficial effects. A form of pure ecstasy comes about in the sensitive parts of the Holy Mother’s sorrows.

After Elias (Mendelssohn) and Jesus (Bach’s “St. John’s Passion”), Robert Holl is once again going to radiate his bass voice in sacral music of the 18th century.

© Chorus Musica Sacra

© Chorus Musica Sacra