Stabat Mater represents a second collaboration between Neil Provost and Robert Steadman following their previous successful collaboration, ‘Via Crucis’ in 2015. Both of them have wished to write a setting of the Stabat Mater text for a number of years and this is the fruition of their original notion.
The work is in twelve movements. Seven of the movements are an English translation of the original Latin text, the remaining five movements are meditations by Mary, the apostle John and Jesus from the cross. The meditations are both original text or are based one of the three psalms 20, 22 and 69 which are traditionally used in Judaism during times of distress.
The work is set for two soloists, choir and organ. The soloists (soprano and baritone) each sing the key characters, however, only the soprano sings the part of Mary. The choir sing the translated text of the Stabat Mater in seven sections interspersed throughout the work with the work finally concluding with everyone singing the repeated first verse of the Stabat Mater, this time in the original Latin followed by an extended Amen.
Robert is a prolific composer of music ranging from symphonies and operas to musicals and pieces for brass band. While much of his music has been written for amateurs and young musicians he has also written several pieces of music for the percussionist Evelyn Glennie, for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, for London Brass Virtuosi, for the saxophonist Sarah Field and for the East of England Orchestra (now Sinfonia ViVA). He has written three symphonies and two operas, but is probably best known for his choral music. He has also written a great deal of chamber music, including several pieces for the Holywell Ensemble. One of his anthems was used at the memorial service for the Dunblane Massacre. Amongst a number of commissions by a variety of performers to mark the Millennium, Robert was commissioned to compose two pieces which were performed in the Millennium Dome; Nottingham Songbook - set of songs about the City of Nottingham, its famous people and places; and Sturdy as the Oak - a piece of music for orchestra.
Neil, who has written the libretto and the translation of the Latin text ‘Stabat Mater’ used in seven of the movements of this work is also the founding Director of Music and Principal Conductor for Cantores Oecumenica, a multi-faith choir that brings music to the local community through free access. He is also Master of Choristers and Organist for Christ Church, Timperley, Cheshire. Neil has written choral music specifically for parish choirs and a most recently a short Passiontide work called ‘The Seven Words’ performed for the first time in 2019.
Soloists and Professional Musicians
Adam Marsden - Baritone
(click on Adam's image to see his biography)
Joyce Tindsley - Mezzo Soprano
(click on image to see biography)
Jonathan Scott - Guest Organist
(click on Jonathan's image to see his biography)
Neil Provost - Conductor
(click on Neil's image to see his biography)