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CHAN 10781
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CHAN 10781

Rossini: Stabat Mater

The Classical Shop
release date: July 2013

Originally recorded in 1989


City of London Sinfonia

Richard Hickox

Roderick Earle


Della Jones

mezzo-soprano (Soprano II)

Helen Field

soprano (Soprano I)

Arthur Davies


London Symphony Chorus


St Jude's Church, Central Square, London NW11


Brian Couzens


Ralph Couzens

Richard Lee


Record Label
Chandos Classics


Orchestral & Concertos


Total Time - 59:08
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Stabat Mater

  for Four Solo Voices, Chorus, and Orchestra  
1 I a. Introduzione - 9:11
  b. Coro e Quartetto. 'Stabat Mater dolorosa'.  
  Andantino moderato  
2 II Aria (Tenor) - 'Cujus animam gementem' 5:36
  Andantino maestoso  
3 III Duetto (Sopranos I & II) - 'Quis est homo, qui non fleret'. 6:22
4 IV Aria (Bass) - 'Pro peccatis suae gentis'. 4:23
  Allegretto maestoso  
5 V Coro e recitativo (Bass, unaccompanied). 'Eja, Mater, fons amoris'. 5:09
  Andante mosso  
6 VI Quartetto - 'Sancta Mater, istud agas'. 7:40
  Allegretto moderato  
7 VII Cavatina (Soprano II) - 'Fac ut portem Christi mortem'. 4:24
  Andante grazioso  
8 VIII Aria (Soprano I) e Coro - 'Inflammatus et accensus'. 4:43
  Andante maestoso  
9 IX Quartetto (unaccompanied) - 'Quando corpus morietur'. 5:52
  Andante -  
10 X Finale. 'Amen! Amen! Amen! In sempiterna saecula'. 5:48
 Helen Field soprano (Soprano I)
 Della Jones mezzo-soprano (Soprano II)
 Arthur Davies tenor
 Roderick Earle bass
 Richard Hickox
  22 and 27 May 1989  

After the enormous efforts that had gone into the completion of the opera Guillaume Tell, Gioachino Rossini entered into early semi-retirement. His setting of the Stabat Mater was thus written during a long period of relative inactivity. In fact, it was his first major composition for twelve years, and the last such he would ever attempt. It was commissioned in 1831 by Don Francisco Fernandez Varela, Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III. Rossini accepted, albeit reluctantly, on the condition that it would never be published.
He began the work with the best of intentions, but half way through, due to illness, he had to enlist the help of an old friend, Giovanni Tadolini, whose contributions were kept stumm. Years later, a Parisian music firm made a successful bid for the manuscript with a view to publication. Understandably concerned that Tadolini’s contributions would come to light, Rossini prevented the original 1832 version from being published, and finally proceeded to replace Tadolini’s movements with four of his own. At its Paris premiere in 1842, the new version’s fusion of heartfelt solemnity and devotion with theatrical drama and joyous melodies was met with wild public enthusiasm.
It is this all-Rossini version that we find recorded here, performed by Richard Hickox and the City of London Sinfonia. They are joined by the London Symphony Chorus and four excellent soloists: Helen Field, Della Jones, Arthur Davies, and Roderick Earle.
When the recording was first released, American Record Guide wrote: ‘The choral work is splendid; the spacious, warm recording has caught it, the orchestra, and soloists in an almost ideal balance… this version must now be regarded as the finest available.’ The sentiments were echoed by HI FI News, which wrote that ‘once again, Hickox has produced a vibrant recording, full of exciting moments’. 

 "...Truthfully, as much as I love this recording, there’s not much more to say. Perfection doesn’t call for too much comment."

Lynn René Bayley - Fanfare - January/February 2014

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