Sébastien de Brossard
About the composer
Sébastien de Brossard (1655-1730), born in Dompierre, north-western France, was a music theorist, composer and collector. He was quite well-known in his time. Not only were some eight books with his works published during his life, he also published a Dictionaire de musique and a Catalogue des livres de musique théorique et pratique which confirmed his reputation all over France. De Brosaard was also Maitre de Chapelle at the cathedrals in Strassbourg and Meaux. About his application for this last job he has written a nice story:
In December 1698, passing through Meaux on my way from Paris to Strassbourg, I learned that the maitrise was vacant at Meaux cathedral. I applied to the Chapter. I conducted a Mass there, and they found it interesting, but I remembered that one of the singers had said that a man who had never been a choirboy could not possibly have written such a forceful mass. So I was obliged to ask the members of the Chapter to give me a subject and have me locked up in a room. I started work at two o’clock on the Monday afternoon and on the following Wednesday this psalm was performed after High Mass and I was greeted with much applause, and the musician in question was reduced to silence.
He died at Meaux in 1730, at age 75.
About the Stabat Mater
Three boy soprano's, countertenor, tenor, baritone, two basses, choir, strings and continuo
The piece is divided into eight parts, varying from 1 to 5 stanzas. The CD-insert describes it as a an inspired work, showing Brossard's skill in counterpoint and harmony. It opens with a violently sung "Stabat" that depicts a cry of grief and in this way de Brossard tries to move, to touch his listeners. The final chorus is a fine piece.
The text according to the "Analecta" is used, with the exception of line 2 of stanza 9: not "Me sentire vim dolores" but "Fac me sentire vim dolores"
Information about the recording
|Auvidis Astrée E 8619: Brossard, Oeuvres chorales (Choral works)
The CD is dedicated to the choir music of Brossard. The Latin is sung with a French pronunciation, probably chosen because this was common in that time. Recorded at the Church of St.Genest-Lerpe in November 1996. I bought this CD in a record shop in the Netherlands, 1998
|Le Mercure Galant
|Les Pages et Les Chantres de la Chapelle
Motet "Retribue servo tuo"
|1998 (BRO 01)