Monday, April 06, 2009

Stabat Mater

A piercingly beautiful piece by Arvo Pärt, divided into three videos.

Part I:

Part II:

Part III:

According to this site:
Stabat Mater is the title of a thirteenth-century Latin hymn and it means "the Mother was standing." In Latin, the hymn consists of twenty couplets which describe the Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin at the Cross. There are more than sixty English translations that have been made of the Stabat Mater....Tradition has identified the hymn with St. Bonaventure, Jacopone da Todi, and Pope Innocent II. A notable number of scholars point to da Todi as author, since two fourteenth-century codices and the 1495 edition of the sequence attribute the hymn's authorship to him. While it cannot be denied that the composition's general tone and sensitivity parallel that of da Todi's poems, strictly stylistic comparisons yield uncertain and even disputable results. Recent scholars like L. Russo and M. Cassella are not impressed by the arguments in favor of Jacopone's authorship. The Stabat Mater has two qualities that most scholars date from the twelfth century: an intricate rhyme scheme and a regular meter (usually trochaic)....The Stabat Mater was introduced into the Liturgy gradually until 1727 when it was prescribed as a Sequence for Mass of the Seven Sorrows of Mary on September 15 and on Friday before Holy Week, as well as their corresponding offices. The Stabat Mater has been retained as an optional Sequence for September 15 in the reformed Roman Missal and as the hymn for the Office of Readings, Morning Prayer, and Evening Prayer in the new Liturgy of Hours. The Stabat Mater's popularity is reflected by its use in the popular devotion of the Stations of the Cross.

TPL says this:
Stabat Mater Dolorosa is considered one of the seven greatest Latin hymns of all time. It is based upon the prophecy of Simeon that a sword was to pierce the heart of His mother, Mary (Lk 2:35). The hymn originated in the 13th century during the peak of Franciscan devotion to the crucified Jesus and has been attributed to Pope Innocent III (d. 1216), St. Bonaventure, or more commonly, Jacopone da Todi (1230-1306), who is considered by most to be the real author.

The hymn is often associated with the Stations of the Cross. In 1727 it was prescribed as a Sequence for the Mass of the Seven Sorrows of Mary (September 15) where it is still used today. In addition to this Mass, the hymn is also used for the Office of the Readings, Lauds, and Vespers for this memorial. There is a mirror image to this hymn, Stabat Mater speciosa, which echoes the joy of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the birth of Jesus.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find an audio file of the Gregorian chant, and in fact I don't know what it sounds like myself. Will post again if I come across one.

The English words can be found at both sites above (at the UDayton site, there is also a link to a .ram file of Semyon Bychkov's Stabat Mater dolorosa), and also (here). This is the Latin:
Stabat Mater dolorósa
iuxta crucem lacrimósa,
dum pendébat Fílius.

Cuius ánimam geméntem,
contristátam et doléntem
pertransívit gládius.

O quam tristis et afflícta
fuit illa benedícta
Mater Unigéniti !

Quae moerébat et dolébat,
pia mater, cum vidébat
nati poenas íncliti.

Quis est homo, qui non fleret,
Christi Matrem si vidéret
in tanto supplício?

Quis non posset contristári,
piam Matrem contemplári
doléntem cum Filio ?

Pro peccátis suae gentis
vidit Jesum in torméntis
et flagéllis subditum.

Vidit suum dulcem natum
moriéntem desolátum,
dum emísit spíritum.

Eia, mater, fons amóris,
me sentíre vim dolóris
fac, ut tecum lúgeam.

Fac, ut árdeat cor meum
in amándo Christum Deum,
ut sibi compláceam.

Sancta Mater, istud agas,
crucifíxi fige plagas
cordi meo válide.

Tui Nati vulneráti,
tam dignáti pro me pati,
poenas mecum dívide.

Fac me vere tecum flere,
Crucifíxo condolére
donec ego víxero.

Iuxta crucem tecum stare,
te libenter sociáre
in planctu desídero.

Virgo vírginum praeclára,
mihi iam non sis amára,
fac me tecum plángere.

Fac, ut portem Christi mortem,
passiónis fac me sortem
et plagas recólere.

Fac me plagis vulnerári,
cruce hac inebriári
et cruóre Fílii.

Flammis ne urar ne succénsus,
per te, Virgo, sim defénsus
in die iudícii.

Fac me cruce custodíri
morte Christi praemuníri,
confovéri grátia.

Quando corpus moriétur,
fac, ut ánimae donétur
paradísi glória. Amen.


Beth said...

Thankyou for this recording. It does not appear on any of my CD's of Arvo Part and I have not heard it before. It is indeed a beautiful piece and I look forward to finding a recording of it to add to my collection f the works of Arvo Part.

bls said...

Thanks, Beth.

(Sorry about the comment moderation, BTW - I had it on the wrong setting.)


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