Antonín Dvorak’s daughter Josefa died on 21 September 1875. In response to this bereavement, Dvorak composed the initial version of his Stabat Mater – for four soloists, choir, and piano – between 19 February and 7 May 1876. He then set the work aside without orchestrating it. Soon after this, he lost his other two children in the space of a few weeks, his daughter Ružena on 13 August and his son Otokar on 8 September 1877. At this point he returned to the manuscript abandoned the previous sacred music and established him notably in Great Britain, where his reputation was to remain firm for the rest of his life.
Dvořák’s Stabat Mater was a work brought about by personal tragedy of almost incomprehensible proportions, after the composer lost all three of his then living children. A setting of the mediaeval Latin prayer to the bereaved mother of the crucified Christ, it was to become both a work of mourning and a work of healing. The shifts of mood from grief and near despair to hope and faith run throughout the work, before the glory and solace of the final Amen. Neeme Järvi conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir in this live concert recording.
Like Mozart writing his Requiem, this live recording of Dvorak's Stabat Mater has taken on great significance being released in the weeks following the death at 55 of the conductor Giuseppe Sinopoli in May 2001.
Dvorák's haunting 'Stabat Mater' for solo voices, chorus and orchestra is not only the most famous work of church music by the Bohemian composer - it is also one of the most impressive ever settings of the medieval hymn in which Mary, the mother of Jesus, gives vivid expression to the pain she feels at the sight of her crucified son…
The Dvorak Stabat Mater turned out to be the final recording made by the beloved dean of American choral directors, Robert Shaw, who taped it in Atlanta in November 1998, two months before his death, at 82.
In an interview with NPR's Martin Goldsmith that fills out the second disc of the Telarc set, Shaw describes the Stabat Mater as "a work of extraordinary vitality and almost mystical communication," qualities fully captured by his deeply felt performance. (Chicago Tribune)
The New Year’s Concert live from Vienna is one of the world’s most famous and spectacular classical music events. It will be broadcast on TV and radio and reaches over 90 countries around the world with more than 40 million viewers. The live recordings from this event with works from the Strauss dynasty and their contemporaries are among the classical market's most important releases. After widely acclaimed New Years Concerts in 2006 and 2012, world-class conductor Mariss Jansons returns for the third time. He belongs to the circle of conductors with whom the Vienna Philharmonic feels a special bond and collaborates regularly.Mariss Jansons ranks among the outstanding podium personalities of our time.
Pairing evergreen works by Dvorak and Mussorgsky, this superb video from Belvedere featuring the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under the incomparable Mariss Jansons is a musical feast. Ever since its world premiere at New York's Carnegie Hall on December 15, 1893, Dvorak's American-flavored Symphony No.9 has been a cornerstone of the orchestral repertoire. Similarly, thanks to Ravel's superb orchestration, Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition is a perennial audience favorite.