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David Dalle
Thursday April 1st, 2021 with David Dalle
Passion music: two contemporary settings of a mother's grief.

Today we delve into the incredible musical tradition of Good Friday and Passion music with two contemporary settings of the 13th century Latin hymn Stabat Mater Dolorosa; a very popular text for setting to music, as it so beautifully describes the unimaginable grief of a bereaved mother. We will begin with American composer Jacob Cooper's 2009 work, which is based on the opening movement from the famous 1736 "Stabat Mater" by Pergolesi. The original work by Pergolesi is scored for Soprano and Alto voices with strings and basso continuo. It makes frequent use of harmonic suspensions, where one voice moves a step away from the other creating dissonance which is then resolved, causing harmonic tension which moves the music along and greatly heightens the emotional impact of the music. The first movement is usually performed in under four minutes, but Jacob Cooper stretches out the dissonant suspensions in a nearly 30 minute lamentation, exquisite and breathtaking. Though this work was composed in 2009, it was released in 2020 and I believe has become one of the most poignant works for mourning during this pandemic. The other "Stabat Mater" is Avro Part's 1985 setting. He sets the whole text in this starkly instrumented and gorgeous work for choir, violin, and two viola da gambas.
Stabat Mater Dolorosa
Jacob Cooper/Mellissa Hughes, Kate Maroney, String Orchestra of Brooklyn, Eli Spindel - Afterimage - New Focus
In between the two "Stabat Maters", we will hear some Moroccan music, which I find suits the mood, some powerful music full of portent. This set starts and ends with fantastic location recordings, made in 1990 and 1979 respectively, of Berbers from the Atlas mountains. Both of these songs feature female voices in two parts with percussion, and, like many Moroccan musics, the focus is on rising from what Moroccans often term "cold" to "hot". The two female choirs start off alternating in hocket (a musical technique where two parts alternate performing the same melody) and they start overlapping, rising in pitch, with the percussion becoming more dense and faster. Eventually all the female voices are in unison and ultimately drowned out by the percussion--searingly hot! An extremely powerful effect which gets the blood pumping! We also hear a fascinating collaboration between electronic artists James Holden and Floating Point and the late Moroccan Gnawa master Maalem Mahmoud Guinia, recorded in 2014.
Anonymous - Maroc: Musique berbère de Haut-Atlas et de l'Anti-Atlas - Le Chant du Monde
Hmadcha de Fes - Fes Festival of World Sacred Music - Le Chant du Monde
Stephan Micus - Desert Poems - ECM
Toro Toro Torka Lila
Maalem Mahmoud Guinia, James Holden, Floating Points - Maharba - Independent
Anonymous - Maroc: Musique berbère de Haut-Atlas et de l'Anti-Atlas - Le Chant du Monde
Stabat Mater
Arvo Part/Helene Plouffe, Elin Suderstrom, Betsy MacMillan, Studio de musique ancienne de Montreal, Christopher Jackson - Stabat Mater - Atma Classique Canadian
Christ Lag In Todesbanden BWV625
Johann Sebastien Bach/Christopher Herrick - The Complete Organ Music of Johann Sebastian Bach vol. 9 The Orgelbuchlein - Hyperion
Interactive CKCU
David Dalle (host)
Listening along!

2:03 PM, April 1st, 2021
hillybilly's Mother
Beautiful! Thanks. Happy Easter ('pandamically' speakin';-)

3:51 PM, April 1st, 2021

3:54 PM, April 1st, 2021