About the composer
Richard Davy (1463 – 1507) was organist and choirmaster at Magdalen College, Oxford, in the early 1490s. His “Stabat Mater a 5”, like the pieces by Browne and Cornysh, is also found in the Eton Choirbook.
About the Stabat Mater
Formally 5 voices (Soprano, Mezzo, Countertenor, Tenor, Bass) On present-day recordings almost always interpreted by a larger choir (on this CD by 16 voices)
From the CD-booklet: Despite the dolorous nature of the text in this antiphon, we should not look for "expressive" word painting, although this does not mean that the composer will not draw attention in some way to important words of text. There seems such intention at the word 'crucifige', when at a cue from a trio the whole choir enters, no less than four of the five parts with the same rhythm at the same moment, an unusually insistent, declamatory effect. These composers have by and large a purely mechanical technique of word setting, which has nothing to do with the emotive significance which a modern reader might find in the text. Thus Davy simply works his way through each syllable of the text until the penultimate is reached, then allows the music to expand melismatically before achieving a cadence on the final syllable: the obvious examples are at incliNAti, fiLIo, complaCEam, criMIne, maestiTIam and, of course, Amen
The medieval English text is used (see Texts: Latin)
Information about the recording
|CD:||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
|Code:||1997 BROW 01|