Paul Carr’s Stabat Mater
Paul Carr and his Stabat Mater
The heartbreak of a mother for the loss of her child is universally understood. The ancient poem called the “Stabat Mater” reflects on the grief of Mary the Mother of Jesus, but in composing music to bring the poem to life, Paul Carr imagined the grief of mothers everywhere who lose their child. So radiant is Paul Carr’s music that a deep sense of consolation is created.
The poem has six sections, each meditating on a mother’s heartbreak from a slightly different point view, so there are six movements in the musical setting. The choir is accompanied by an orchestra of strings and harp, with exquisite solos for oboe and cor anglais.
This music was commissioned by The English Arts Chorale, who premièred the work in Reigate and in Cambridge, and in March 2018 – in deep snow – recorded the work at the church of St Jude on the Hill, Hampstead, in North London.
The new CD is entitled simply: “Radiance.” The CD will be available for the first time at this concert.
The English Arts Chorale
The English Arts Chorale was founded by Leslie Olive in 1980, and has given nearly 300 performances under his direction. The Chorale has broadcast for BBC Radio, performed frequently at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London’s South Bank Centre, and toured its performances of major repertoire sung entirely from memory to cathedrals across the UK including at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in 1991 and 1992. London’s Barbican hall hosted the Chorale’s 21st Anniversary performance – from memory – of the Verdi Requiem.
Launching Reigate Summer Music Festival, the Chorale sang all three of Elgar’s most famous oratorios in the course of a week – The Dream of Gerontius, The Apostles, and The Kingdom. It is one of the few choirs to have performed Pilgrim’s Progress by Vaughan Williams. On tour, the Chorale gave what is thought to have been the first performance of The Dream of Gerontius in Prague, at the prestigious and very grand concert hall at the heart of the City.
As well as recording Paul Carr’s Stabat Mater, 2018 has included two performances of Britten’s War Requiem, in Winchester Cathedral and Tewkesbury Abbey.
Most recently, the Chorale has comissioned a further work by Paul Carr, entitled “Gloria”.