Good Friday: i) Stabat Mater – Pergolesi

Good Friday: i) Stabat Mater – Pergolesi

Friday 29th March, 2024, at 12:00 pm

The companionship and servitude of the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday give way to the utter bleakness and desolation of Good Friday.

We mark this in music, words and prayer at St Bride’s in our Three Hours’ Devotion which begins with a performance of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater at 12 noon on Good Friday, 29th March, 2024. The event continues at 1pm with an hour of words and music entitled At the foot of the Cross and concludes at 2pm with a performance of Stainer’s The Crucifixion.

We are delighted that the performance by Claire Seaton and Charlie Morris, both members of St Bride’s Choir, will be accompanied by string players from the St Bride’s Orchestra together with organ continuo.

This is the best-known setting of the 13th century poem based upon the prophecy of Simeon that a sword shall pierce the heart of Christ’s mother Mary (Luke 2: 35) and compassionately describes the sorrowing Mary as she keeps station at the foot of the cross.

The poet, debatably Jacapone da Todi, a thirteenth century Franciscan monk, prays to Mary to let him share her grief and to let him suffer with Jesus and for her intercession. In the last stanza the poet prays directly to God for a place in paradise.

Pergolesi’s setting was written in about 1735 and was first printed in London in 1749. It became the most frequently published single work of the 18th century.

Pergolesi (1710-1736) composed it at the end of his life which was spent at a Franciscan monastery in Pozzuoli and it was written as a replacement for the Allesandro Scarlatti setting in use at the church of Maria dei Sette Dolori in Naples.

Those who cannot attend church today can listen to this recording of the Stabat Mater from a previous year (please note, this does not include the St Bride’s Orchestra players).

congregation sitting for service


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