- Stabat Mater, for chorus
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Frank Ferko: Stabat Mater based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
The Stabat Mater, derived from a thirteenth-century hymn, invokes the setting of the mother of Christ at the foot of the cross witnessing the death of her son. The cover of this cd is an altered picture of The Crucifixion by the nineteenth-century Russian artist Sorokin. Composer Frank Ferko brings this setting into current focus relevant to the death of one's own child. This composition subdues the listener into mourning at the first note. The sections in Latin have interludes throughout with English poems on topics of mourning for infants. Ferko's composition drags the listener into the abyss of indescribable pain from the loss of a child. On Track 2, the high, sustained soprano note throughout bespeaks the pain about to be described. Dissonances remind one of the inescapable emotional agony, suggestive of keening by the women. "Andromache's Lament" uses soprano Juliana Rambaldi to great effect here and throughout the program. One could hear "The Mother" without any notion of the composition's background and still succumb to the sorrow and hopelessness portrayed. Booklet notes, written by the composer, are helpful and educational. Poems by those who have experienced overwhelming loss complete the texture of the piece. Text and translations are most welcome, and chorus members are listed. The Choral-Arts group, singing a capella, provides the artistry which won The American Prize in choral performance for 2010. The exercise of such choral skills must be both challenging and rewarding to the Seattle group, which recorded this work in St. James Cathedral in March 2010. Every entrance, blend, diction, and phrase convey the essence of these difficult pieces. Performance of this composition must be scheduled with great care and thought. An audience would be well-advised to prepare for an unusual experience. A service of mourning or memorial would be most appropriate for this introspective, heart-rending commemoration.