About the composer
John Browne (1453– c. 1500) was an English composer of the Tudor period.
There are four English composers from the Tudor period, the second half of the fifteenth century, that are known to have composed a Stabat Mater: Ashwell, Browne, Cornyshe and Davy. Little is known about Browne.
Browne was probably born before 1450 and died in Windsor, maybe in 1498. The church music from this period is predominantly found in three choir books that have survived, the most well-known being the Eton Choirbook. In these books three Stabat Maters of Browne can be found, among which the Stabat Mater a 6. A copy of the first page of this piece can be seen here (300 KB).
About the Stabat Mater
Formally 6 voices (Soprano, Mezzo, 2 Countertenors, Tenor, Bass) On present-day recordings almost always interpreted by a larger choir (16 voices)
From a CD-booklet: The florid surface detail of the music makes it difficult to discern the underlying structure. Yet, the elaborate melodic lines of this music is often build upon a simple plainsong, usually inaudible amidst the florid counterpoints, but determining the essentially decorative character of the other voices. The music avoids dissonances; the kaleidoscopic detail is always perfect harmonious. Fascinating is the way the voices sometimes float free and independent from each other, then join together in parallel motion. But nothing is predictable; all is exuberant variety.
The medieval English version of the text is used (see Texts: Latin)
Information about the recording
|CD1:||Virgin 5 45272 2: Stabat Mater|
Four completely different settings of the Stabat Mater. A “must” for every collector. The Brown Stabat Mater was recorded at St.John-at-Hackney, London, in November 1986. I bought this CD in a record shop in the Netherlands, 1997.
Gregorian Chant, Stabat Mater
|Code:||1997 (PÄR 01)|
|CD2:||Meridian CDE 84175: Music from the Eton Choirbook.|
This CD brings to life some music from the Eton Choirbook, one of the three choirbooks that survived from the fifteenth century. The music is abundant in florid detail, so much that it is sometimes hard to hear the underlying melody. Nevertheless, beautiful. I bought this CD in a record shop in the Netherlands, 1997
Browne, Salve Regina