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The world premiere performance of Karl Jenkins's Stabat Mater took place on March 15th 2008 in Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral, performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir conducted by the composer.

Stabat Mater is a 13th-Century Roman Catholic poem attributed to Jacopone da Todi. Its title is an abbreviation of the first line, Stabat mater dolorosa (‘The sorrowful mother was standing') This text, one of the most powerful and immediate of medieval poems, meditates on the suffering of Mary, Jesus Christ's mother, during his crucifixion.

It has been set to music by many composers, among them Haydn, Dvorák, Vivaldi, Rossini, Pergolesi, Gounod, Penderecki, Poulenc Szymanowski, Alessandro Scarlatti, Domenico Scarlatti and Verdi.

Here are three movements from Karl's setting of Stabat Mater to form a wonderful suite for brass band;

I Sancta Mater
II Cantus Lacrimosus
III Paradisi Gloria

Movements I and III feature antiphonal writing for cornets (group A and group B) whilst movement II opens with a quartet playing together at the side of the stage, before taking positions at the front of the stage.

Performance layout based on traditional band formation: Flugel and horns should sit in the solo cornets seats, basses should sit in the horn seats, euphonium and baritones remain why they usually are. Trombones should stand a central position behind the basses and in front of percussion whilst cornets (divided as indicated on the score) take standing positions, one group behind the horns and the second group behind the baritones and euphoniums.

This suite can be augmented with the inclusion of the euphonium solo Lament from Stabat Mater and the cornet solo / duet Ave Verum from Stabat Mater. If using one of these it should be played following 'Cantus Lacrimosus'. If using both, 'Lament' should be played after 'Sancta Mater' and 'Ave Verum' after the 'Cantus Lacrimosus'.

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