Abos: Stabat Mater
Series: Classical Era Publisher: A-R Editions
Edited by Joseph Vella Bondin
C068 Abos: Stabat Mater
978-0-89579-531-1 Full Score (2003) 9x12, xix + 75 pp.
Apart from its traditional plainsong, the sequence Stabat Mater has had many composed settings and was a favorite text of Neapolitan composers. Although a Maltese, Girolamo Abos (1715–60) can be considered one of these on stylistic grounds, and his setting is within the tradition of contemporary Neapolitan settings meant for the Roman Catholic Holy week liturgy. The somber scoring for voices and strings only with organ continuo is memorable for its melodic elegance, harmonic purity, and inventive design. Special features include its geometric construction and the ostinato use of contiguous forte and piano dynamics to create the dark and light effect so loved by the composer. One of his most representative masterpieces, the work was very popular and very much admired for many decades, and its seven known extant manuscript copies serve as evidence of this. After this time, the Stabat Mater fell into almost complete oblivion, but it is a work that cries for international rediscovery and recognition.
I. Stabat Mater
II. Cujus animam
III. Vidit suum
IV. Juxta crucem
V. Quando corpus
Michael Talbot, Eighteenth-Century Music, 2004.