Stabat Mater

Gioachino Rossini

The master of Pesaro is just as proficient in the art of comedy as in sacred music

Sung in latin

Originally the Stabat Mater (literally "the Mother stood") was a sacred text that first appeared in the thirteenth century. It recounted Mary's sufferings during the crucifixion of her son Jesus Christ, and was very popular with painters and musicians. Over 400 pieces of music have used this "material": some are oratorios or smaller-scale motets, while others are among their composers' major works. Rossini's Stabat Mater, his last work, resonates with the echoes of all of the operas he wrote during his career and is clearly more theatrical than genuinely religious. But this is precisely what makes the work so appealing: it is extremely flowing and moving, but deliberately situated on the borderline between sacred music and opera.

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