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His Majestie's Clerkes
Frank Ferko - Stabat Mater

Stabat Mater
Cujus animam gementem
O quam tristis
Quae maerebat
Andromache's lament
Quis est homo
Quis non posset
Pro peccatis
Vidit suum
The Mother
Eia mater
Fac ut ardeat
Sancta mater
Tui nati
Haiku for an East Asia Scholar
Ancho y Ajeno
Fac me tecum
Juxta crucem
Virgo virginum
Fac ut portem
Fac me plagis
Flammis ne
Christe cum sit
Quando corpus

Directed by Anne Heider

Composer Frank Ferko's majestic new Stabat Mater (The Mother Stood) broadens the embrace of this profound medieval hymn depicting Mary at the Crucifixion. Ferko supplements the original Latin text on the theme of premature death with passages from classical Greek drama and modern verse. Ferko (b. 1950) composed his Stabat Mater in 1998 for the a capella mixed choir His Majestie's Clerkes. The Chicago Tribune pronounced their concert premiere of Ferko's Stabat Mater a classical highlight of 1999: "a marvelously intricate and sincerely devout tour de force that showed off the Clerke's disciplined, sensitive, and uncommonly nuanced singing." Writer Ted Shen asked rhetorically, "When will Frank Ferko be recognized for what he is, a talented and erudite innovator of old vocal genres?" With his fugal writing, Ferko "plays" the choir like an organ. Not surprisingly, Ferko is a veteran church organist and choral director as well as composer. He holds a doctorate in music composition from Northwestern University, where he studied with Alan Stout. The work consists of 25 miniature pieces (20 Latin stanzas and five English interpolations) "that fit together much like a mosaic," Ferko writes in the CD booklet. Musically, the composition employs "old-fashioned" concepts: tonal centers, church modes, major and minor keys, counterpoint, and melody. The music digresses occasionally, "but there is a basic tonal framework for the entire composition," Ferko writes. He describes the tonal center as progressing through two "arches," from E to B-flat and from B-flat back to E --"and beyond, in the final chorale."

Item code: 8852C | 1 CD | $15.95 add item to cart
Early Music | A Cappella