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Dvorák: Stabat Mater, Op. 58; Legends, Op. 59
Antonin Dvorak, Rafael Kubelik, English Chamber Orchestra
Dvorák: Stabat Mater, Op. 58; Legends, Op. 59
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #2

Dvorák's solemnly lyrical setting of the Stabat Mater is one of the glories of 19th-century choral music, and this has always been regarded as one of its finest performances. Rafael Kubelík had few equals in this repertoir...  more »

     
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Dvorák's solemnly lyrical setting of the Stabat Mater is one of the glories of 19th-century choral music, and this has always been regarded as one of its finest performances. Rafael Kubelík had few equals in this repertoire, and he knew just how to achieve the maximum of expression with a minimum of hesitation and dragging--critical in a work that is largely meditation and sorrowful reflection. A twofer price, this is the version to have. --David Hurwitz
 

CD Reviews

Dvorák: Stabat Mater, Op. 58; Legends, Op. 59
Mr Bassil A MARDELLI | Riad El-SOLH , Beirut Lebanon | 04/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Rafael Kubelik has been able to interpret Antonin Dvorak's Stabat Mater and to preserve the sanctities of such a thirteenth century Roman Catholic sequence.

The 'Laudi' - songs written in praise of God - are attributed to Pope Innocent III and/or to Friar Jacopone da Todi, - member of Franciscan's religious order that originally relied solely on alms -
Stabat Mater goes as far back as the thirteenth century. Gospel subjects have always been ready for dramatization when written in Latin. Its title is an abbreviation of the first line, Stabat mater dolorosa ("The sorrowful mother was standing"). The hymn, one of the most powerful surviving medieval poems, contemplate the suffering of Mary, Jesus Christ's mother, during His crucifixion .

Many composers have been assigned the merit to set to music this heavenly hymn - Hayden, Vivaldi, Rossini, and Scarlatti and even Verdi .... Many more .... , but I truly loved Dvorak's composition. This sacred work was Dvorak's first creation in the darkness of death. He completed it in 1877 amid a personal tragedy - he lost his three children due to illness or accident.

Away from all human contacts, Dvorak formed in his mind's eye his own private picture of the great Songs that never failed to coincide with his own excruciation.

"
A very good stabat mater
Eytan Klausner | Chicagoland area | 06/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"While the best stabat mater ever writen is Pergolesi's, there are a some other good ones (especially by Rossini, Dvorak and Haydn). Dvorak is most known for his last symphonies, slavonic dances and some outstanding chamber music, but he wrote some very good religious music as well. Many listeners who want to taste Dvorak's religious music will prefer to start with his great requiem (on DG conducted by Karel Ancerl), but there is also much fine music in the stabat mater. Dvorak expert Kubelik conducts four excellent soloists in this first choice performance of this stabat mater."
One of the great choral masterworks of the 19th century
Nancy Moran | Baltimore, Maryland USA | 09/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Stabat Maters (the story of Christ's Mother) date to the 15th and 16th centuries. Dvorak, a Czech national, uses Latin text to reiterate the anguish and suffering of the Mother of Christ at the foot of the cross, hoping to revive interest in Mary in Europe, Russia and the Americas in the 19th century. In doing so, Dvorak writes not a symphony, but a series of ten cantatas. They are performed here by the Bavarian Radio Chorus under the direction of Josef Schmidhuber. The Dvorak Stabat Mater was completed in 1877, but not performed until 1880 and then in 1882. Why it is not so performed now confounds me.In typical format, the Stabat begins with the crucifixion, then the piercing, then the suffering, then the dying - it ends with the promise of ascension. The Mother recalls the joy at Christ's birth and the fate she knew he was destined. The chorus sings that the Virgin is in a state of prayer. Finally, it is accepted that Christ has died but he will continue to inspire us and ascend in very short time. The tenth and last cantata explains that the body has died and ends with a rousing, quite magnificent, partly fugal "Amen" to the spirit.This image of Mary and Christ is not that of the classical, serene, monochromatic Michaelangelo Pieta. It is firmly part of the Romantic Eastern Europe (Czech) national movement, written years before Dvorak travelled to America, writing his famous Symphony No. 9 ("Othello"), more popularly known as the "Symphony of the New World" which used American themes such as Negro spirituals.In view of the "Stabat Mater", Op. 59 "Legends" (on the second CD) has become somewhat of an afterthought but it has power and grace and beauty all its own. It is performed by the English Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Rafael Kubelik. The one criticism I have for this Dvorak Stabat is that only seven of the ten cantatas fit on one CD. It is broken where Mary is in prayer and should immediately continue to the realization of the mortal death of Christ. Fortunately, the next two cantatas lead to the promise of ascension and eventual victory over mortal death. They are rousing and they are spiritually uplifting.If you have interest: A further example of Eastern Europe nationalism is "Ma Vlast" ("My Homeland") by Smetena, containing the famous river "Moldau" work, as well as Dvorak's own "Slavonic Dances"."