Dartington Community Choir: Dvorak - Stabat MaterRemembrance Sunday is perhaps a fitting occasion to perform Dvorak’s hauntingly beautiful Stabat Mater BOOK NOW
7.30pm Sunday 14th November
Great Hall, Dartington Trust, South Devon
£19 | Under 16 £7.50. Members discount applies automatically at checkout
About this event
The great Czech composer Antonin Dvorak began and completed Stabat Mater, one of the world’s most loved oratorios, at a time of extreme personal grief, between 1875 and 1877. In this short time his three infant children all died, leaving him childless. It is a deeply moving reflection on the grief of Mary mother of Christ, as she stood by the cross. Based on a well-known mediaeval poem in Latin, there have been many other settings by other composers over four centuries. Dvorak’s is arguably the best.
First performed in Prague in 1880 when Dvorak was little known outside Czechoslovakia. It was an instant success giving him a reputation as a major international composer. In 1884 a performance in the Albert Hall with a vast orchestra and 600 voices was received with ecstatic applause. It may be a crowd pleaser but it is also a profound piece of music. His vision brings together both delicacy and the extremes of passion, both gentle lyricism and the full power of voices and orchestra. No doubt his devout Catholicism underlies his expression throughout of consolation, acceptance and even joy.
The choir has chosen to perform Stabat Mater for our first concert emerging from the ordeal of the pandemic reflecting the mood of a world in sadness. Dvorak ends the work in a major key; surely an expression of hope. Remembrance Sunday is perhaps a fitting evening for an oratorio which takes an audience through emotions of sadness, grief and ending on a hopeful note.
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