It is truly fascinating that even today people are inspired to set the old, medieval Stabat Mater text to music. I always love to discover new composers, both from the past as in the present. That happened some time ago when I came in contact with Mr. Phil Vernon, who came across my site when he was writing a new version of Stabat Mater lyrics in English. In doing so he aimed to retain the deeply emotional personal and spiritual core. He was thrilled to find Nicola Burnett Smith willing to set his poem to music. She has been an actor, singer, composer and musician since 1986. Her composition is written for three female voices and double bass.
This Stabat Mater, music by Nicola Burnett Smith, words by Phil Vernon, had its first performance on Monday 15th April 2019 as part of Holy Week Mass at St Paul’s Church (The Actors’ Church), Covent Garden in London, featuring vocalists Sarah Lambie, Anna Braithwaite and Nicola Burnett Smith with Dai Price on double bass. I am so delighted Phil and Nicola were so kind to share the video of the performance with me. I listened to it over and over, I love it, it is beautiful in its simplicity and the voices are moving. Thanks! Here is the poem by Phil Vernon: