The Stabat Mater is a 13th-century Christian hymn to Mary, which portrays her suffering as Jesus Christ's mother during his crucifixion. Its author may be either the Franciscan friar Jacopone da Todi or Pope Innocent III. The title comes from its first line, "Stabat Mater dolorosa", which means "the sorrowful mother was standing".
The Stabat Mater has often been ascribed to Jacopone da Todi, OFM (ca. 1230–1306), but this has been strongly challenged by the discovery of the earliest notated copy of the Stabat Mater in a 13th-century gradual belonging to the Dominican nuns in Bologna (Museo Civico Medievale MS 518, fo. 200v-04r).
The Stabat Mater was well known by the end of the 14th century and Georgius Stella wrote of its use in 1388, while other historians note its use later in the same century. In Provence, about 1399, it was used during the nine days' processions.
As a liturgical sequence, the Stabat Mater was suppressed, along with hundreds of other sequences, by the Council of Trent, but restored to the missal by Pope Benedict XIII in 1727 for the Feast of the Seven Dolours of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Text and translation
The Latin text below is from an 1853 Roman Breviary and is one of multiple extant versions of the poem. The first English translation by Edward Caswall is not literal but preserves the trochaic tetrameter rhyme scheme and sense of the original text. The second English version is a more formal equivalence translation.
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1. Stabat mater dolorósa
At the Cross her station keeping,
The sorrowful mother was standing
This section needs additional citations for verification. (February 2020)
Composers who have written settings of the Stabat Mater include:
- Josquin des Prez
- Orlande de Lassus (1585)
- Palestrina: Stabat Mater (c.1590)
- Giovanni Felice Sances (1643)
- Marc-Antoine Charpentier H.15 & H.387 (1685–90)
- Louis-Nicolas Clérambault C. 70 (17..)
- Sébastien de Brossard SdB.8 (1702)
- Emanuele d'Astorga (1707)
- Vivaldi: Stabat Mater (1712)
- Domenico Scarlatti (1715)
- Nicola Fago (1719)
- Scarlatti: Stabat Mater (1723)
- Antonio Caldara (~1725)
- Agostino Steffani (1727)
- Pergolesi: Stabat Mater (1736)
- Nicola Logroscino (1760)
- Florian Leopold Gassmann (~1765)
- Haydn: Stabat Mater (1767)
- Giuseppe Tartini (1769)
- Tommaso Traetta (1770)
- Antonio Soler (1775)
- Boccherini: Stabat Mater (1781, 1801)
- Franz Ignaz Beck (1782)
- Pasquale Cafaro (1784)
- Schubert: Stabat Mater in G minor (1815) and Stabat Mater in F minor (1816)
- Rossini: Stabat Mater (1831–1841)
- Peter Cornelius (1849)
- Liszt: part of the oratorio Christus (1862–1866)
- Dvořák: Stabat Mater (1876–1877)
- Laura Netzel (1890)
- Josef Bohuslav Foerster: Op. 56 (1891–1892)
- František Musil: Op. 50 (1893)
- Verdi: movement of Quattro pezzi sacri (1896–1897)
- Charles Villiers Stanford (1906)
- Toivo Kuula (1919)
- George Oldroyd (1922)
- Szymanowski: Stabat Mater (1925–1926)
- Johann Nepomuk David (1927)
- Lennox Berkeley (1947)
- Julia Perry (1947)
- Poulenc: Stabat Mater (1950)
- Penderecki: in St Luke Passion (1963–1966)
- Pärt: Stabat Mater (1985)
- Knut Nystedt (1986)
- Amaral Vieira (1988)
- Trond Kverno (1991)
- Pawel Lukaszewski (1994)
- Vladimir Martynov (1994)
- Salvador Brotons (1997)
- Frank Ferko (1999)
- Vladimír Godár (2001)
- Bruno Coulais (2005)
- Jenkins: Stabat Mater (2008)
- Paul Mealor (2009, revised 2010)
- metr. Hilarion (Alfeyev) (2011)
- Jean-Charles Gandrille (2014) Last choral work performed at Notre-Dame de Paris (2019)
- Franco Simone (2014)
- James MacMillan (2015)
- Vache Sharafyan
Most of the settings are in Latin, but Karol Szymanowski's and Paul Bebenek's are in Polish, although Szymanowski's may also be sung in Latin. George Oldroyd's setting is in Latin but includes an English translation for Anglican/Episcopalian use.
- Sabatier, Paul Life of St. Francis Assisi Charles Scribner Press, NY, 1919, page 286
- The seven great hymns of the Mediaeval Church by Charles Cooper Nott 1868 ASIN: B003KCW2LA page 96
- p. 574, Alighieri, Durling, Martinez (2003) Dante, Robert M., Ronald L. Oxford The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri: Purgatorio Volume 2 of The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri Oxford University Press. "The Stabat Mater by the Franciscan Jacopone da Todi."
- Stabat Mater, Volume 68 by Girolamo Abos, Joseph Vella Bondin 2003 ISBN 0-89579-531-0 page xviii 
- Cesarino Ruini, "Un antico versione dello Stabat Mater in un graduale delle Domenicane bolognesi," Deo è lo scrivano ch’el canto à ensegnato: Segni e simboli nella musica al tempo di Iacopone, Atti del Convegno internazionale, Collazzone, 7-8 luglio 2006, ed. Ernesto Sergio Mainoldi and Stefania Vitale, Philomusica On-line, 9, no. 3 (2010).
- One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Stabat Mater". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
- Heartz, Daniel (1995). Haydn, Mozart and the Viennese School: 1740-1780. W.W. Norton & Co. p. 305. ISBN 0-393-03712-6. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
- "Stabat Mater Dolorosa and Speciosa". The Ultimate Stabat Mater Website. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
- Breviarum Romanum. Mechelen: H. Dessain. 1853. pp. 455–456, 460–461.
- Caswall, Edward (1849). Lyra Catholica. London: James Burns. pp. 138–142.
- Dvořák: Stabat Mater. Oratorio for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra at Supraphon website.
- Entry for Antoni Soler's Stabat Mater at The Ultimate Stabat Mater Site: A Musical Journey Through the Ages. [Accessed 16 December 2020].
- "Kuula - The ultimate Stabat Mater site". The ultimate Stabat Mater site. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
- "English". www.jeancharlesgandrille.com. Retrieved 2022-10-27.
- [http://www.jeancharlesgandrille.com/english.html Jean-Charles Gandrille (2014)
- "James MacMillan - Stabat Mater". Boosey & Hawkes. Retrieved 2017-04-14.
- Stabat Mater for mezzo-soprano and male choir (2017)
- Website about (now) 250 different Stabat Mater compositions: information about the composers, the music and the text. The site also includes translations of the text in 20 languages.
- Several English translations
- Chant performed by "Exsurge Domine" vocal ensemble.
- Karol Szymanowski's "Stabat Mater". Spanish Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra. Thomas Dausgaard, conductor. Live concert.