Christine Brewer (soprano) Marietta Simpson (mezzo-soprano) John Aler (tenor) Ding Gao (bass) Washington Chorus and Orchestra Robert Shafer
Naxos is proud to bring you Dvorak’s mighty Stabat Mater in a thrilling live performance by the Grammy Award-winning Washington Chorus and Orchestra under Robert Shafer.
“Under conductor Robert Shafer, the ensemble retains articulate precision at shattering volume, and presence in barely audible pianissimos” The Washington Post
The stellar line-up of soloists includes soprano Christine Brewer (“strong high notes and a real glow to her tone” Gramophone) and tenor John Aler (“rich and resonant of timbre” Gramophone), both of whom have illustrious recording careers behind them.
Dvorak’s Stabat Mater is the longest musical setting of the liturgical text which describes the grieving Mary contemplating her dead son. Dvorak started work on it following the death of his two-day-old daughter Josefa but set the incomplete manuscript aside after six months. Scarcely a year later his second daughter Ruzena died after drinking a solution of phosphorus intended for making matches, and three weeks later his only son Otakar contracted smallpox. Dvorak immediately returned to his sketches and completed the score in November 1877.