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Haydn: Stabat Mater


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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. 1. Stabat Mater Dolorosa - Anthony Rolfe Johnson, The London Chamber Choir, The Argo Chamber Orchestra, Laszlo Heltay
  2. 2. O quam tristis et afflicta - Alfreda Hodgson, The Argo Chamber Orchestra, Laszlo Heltay
  3. 3. Quis est homo, qui non fleret - The London Chamber Choir, The Argo Chamber Orchestra, Laszlo Heltay
  4. 4. Quis non posset contristari - Arleen Augér, The Argo Chamber Orchestra, Laszlo Heltay
  5. 5. Pro peccatis suae gentis - Gwynne Howell, The Argo Chamber Orchestra, Laszlo Heltay
  6. 6. Vidit suum dulcem natum - Anthony Rolfe Johnson, The Argo Chamber Orchestra, Laszlo Heltay
  7. 7. Eja mater, fons amoris - The London Chamber Choir, The Argo Chamber Orchestra, Laszlo Heltay
  8. 8. Sancta mater istud agas - Arleen Augér, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, The Argo Chamber Orchestra, Laszlo Heltay
  9. 9. Fac me vere tecum flere - Alfreda Hodgson, The Argo Chamber Orchestra, Laszlo Heltay
  10. 10. Virgo virginium praeclara - Arleen Augér, Alfreda Hodgson, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Gwynne Howell, The London Chamber Choir, The Argo Chamber Orchestra, Laszlo Heltay
  11. 11. Flammis orci ne succendar - Gwynne Howell, The Argo Chamber Orchestra, Laszlo Heltay
  12. 12. Fac me cruce custodiri - Anthony Rolfe Johnson, The Argo Chamber Orchestra, Laszlo Heltay
  13. 13. Quando corpus morietur...Paradisi gloria - Arleen Augér, Alfreda Hodgson, The London Chamber Choir, The Argo Chamber Orchestra, Laszlo Heltay

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x92cbb7a4) out of 5 stars 1 review
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93898cfc) out of 5 stars Return of the prodigal 21 April 2011
By Larry VanDeSande - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Hungarian-British conductor Laszlo Heltay recorded this version of Haydn's Stabat Mater in 1980 for London/Decca using singers and style that preceded today's period performance standards. The recording was considered among the better versions of Haydn's early masterpiece before it disappeared from view. Now Australian Eloquence has returned it to circulation and Amazon has made it available in USA.

Haydn composed the 13-part Stabat Mater in 1767, three decades before most of the great masses and roughly equivalent with the Missa Celensis or Cantata Mass. It preceded its natural concert partner, the Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross oratorio, by almost two decades. Taken from the 13th century hymn, the stabat mater is Mother Mary's wail at seeing her son dying on the cross.

Through Haydn, she expresses her sorrow in 13 movements (14 in some recordings) for chorus and four soloists. Haydn's piece has mostly slow choral movements interspersed with solos. There are two really great solos for the bass and the thing ends with a rather silly but upbeat virtuosic tour de force for the soprano. It's not Papa Haydn's greatest choral work but it shows him stretching his legs in a minor key nad lays the path for the great masses to come.

Heltay probably has the best group of soloists in any recording of the stabat mater: soprano Arleen Auger, mezzo-soprano Alfreda Hodgson, tenor Anthony Rolfe Johnson and booming bass Gwynne Howell, who were all members of the London-Decca stable of singers during the 1960s-80s. The starry vocal quartet is always wonderful but it doesn't always equal the best stabat mater available, the result of some of Heltay's pacing choices, an overreverberant recording where the chorus sometimes comes in too loud, and some operatic tendencies by the soloists that transcend the material.

Still, this is one of the contenders for "best" stabat mater and its return is a boom to any lover of Haydn's vocal music that has never heard it. Other candidates among "best" stabat mater for me are those led by Frieder Bernius for fire and conviction and Tadeusz Strugala [[ASIN: B002YBF4J0]] for loving handling and wonderful solo singing, especially by the women. This one also fits in among the best I know. An earlier CD incarnation is available (ASIN: B0000267N8).
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