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Recensie

Na de dood van theaterontwerper Christian Bérard overwoog Poulenc een Requiem te componeren, maar besloot dat de ontroerende tekst van het Stabat Mater meer geschikt was om Bérard te eren. Het twaalfdelige stuk voor koor, orkest en solist was meteen een groot succes. Omdat het uit mijzelf komt en dus authentiek is, aldus de componist. Het werk is in goede handen bij een van de beste koren van ons land: het kamerkoor Cappella Amsterdam met Carolyn Sampson als solist. Veel minder bekend is Sept Répons des Ténèbres, dat Poulenc vlak voor zijn dood voltooide, maar postuum voor het eerst werd uitgevoerd. Mooi dat Cappella Amsterdam ook dit werk heeft opgenomen, want het verdient zeker meer bekendheid.


Poulenc: Stabat mater

Stabat mater
Sept Répons des Tenèbres
Carolyn Sampson (soprano)

Cappella Amsterdam, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir & Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Reuss

Poulenc’s 'Stabat Mater', which he described as a ‘requiem without despair’, was written in 1950 following the death of Christian Bérard who designed the sets for Cocteau’s films and plays and was a leading figure of 1940s Paris. This masterly work, dedicated to the Virgin of Rocamadour, gives pride of place to the chorus and clearly shows its line of descent from the French grands motets. On completing it, Poulenc wrote to Pierre Bernac: "It’s good, because it’s completely authentic".

From the time of his pilgrimage to Rocamadour in 1936, Poulenc's religious output was filtered through his Catholic interpretation of the world and his personal trajectory. The 'Stabat Mater' is no exception to this rule, in that it associates the events and circumstances of his own life with the drama of the Gospels. It identifies the three figures of Christ, the Virgin and the Faithful Disciple with biographical figures: Bérard, Poulenc, and the latter’s lover Lucien Roubert, whom he was to refer to as ‘the secret’ of the 'Stabat Mater' and 'Dialogues des Carmélites'.

In December 1959 Leonard Bernstein commissioned a new work from Poulenc for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. He chose to write the 'Sept Répons des Ténèbres' (Seven Tenebrae Responses) for treble soloist, a chorus of boys’ and men’s voices and symphony orchestra. The posthumous first performance took place on 11 April 1963 at Philharmonic Hall (now Avery Fisher Hall) under the direction of Thomas Schippers. Poulenc had insisted on these all-male vocal forces, but, 50 years after his death, it is important to allow for more widespread performance of this fascinating score which has too long languished in the shadows.

Tracks

Disc 1
1. Una Hora Non Potuistis Vigilare Mecum
2. Judas Mercator Pessimus
3. Jesum Tradidit Impius
4. Caligaverunt Oculi Mei
5. Tenebrae Factae Sunt
6. Sepulto Domino
7. Ecce Quomondo Moritur Justus
8. Stabat Mater Dolorosa
9. Cujus Animam Gementem
10. O Quam Tristis Et Afflicta
11. Quae Moerebat Et Dolebat
12. Quis Est Homo, Qui Non Fleret
13. Vidit Suum Dulcem Natum
14. Eja Mater, Fons Amoris
15. Fac Ut Ardeat Cor Meum
16. Sancta Mater, Istud Agas
17. Fac Ut Portem Christi Mortem
18. Inflammatus Et Accensus
19. Quando Corpus Morietur

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