Hans van der Velden started collecting Stabat Maters in 1992. After five years, when he owned about 40 Stabat Mater CDs, his partner Hannie van Osnabrugge created the Ultimate Stabat Mater Website with FrontPage.
The site contained all his notes on the composer, the composition, the original Latin text, and the translations. Hans continued his search for Stabat Maters, and regularly updated the site with new composers and translations.
Via the website Hans came into contact with music lovers, musicians, and composers from all over the world who provided him with new information about compositions and translations. The Stabat Mater collection became one of his passions. In his own words:
When I realised, one day, that I owned several CDs with a musical setting of the Stabat Mater I decided to start a real collection. The Spectrum Muziek Lexicon by Theo Willemze named some 15 composers, so this should be not too difficult. It appeared, however, that the number was substantially larger. I now know about some 600 composers, who, fortunately, have not all been recorded on CD yet. Still, a substantial fraction has been released on CD and my collection grew rapidly. Beside this list of my collection of CDs I have made another list of composers, who as far as I know have not yet been recorded on CD (more than 400).
A collection invites comparing, and that is what I do. I analyse the text and note the differences, as it appears that several variations of the Stabat Mater poem exist. I listen to the music and I try to present the results in an easily surveyable way. This comparison is handicapped by the fact
,that, in the field of musical theories, I am illiterate and not even able to read music. Therefore, many of the opinions in this area come from the accompanying CD-inserts. Besides that, I try to give an impression of what I heard. This is, in effect, a question of sense and sensibility. I give a description in words, coloured of course by my own taste, and I give a graphical representation of the piece (for an explanation: see Colour bar).
When Hans died on December 28th, 2005, he possessed 211 different Stabat Mater compositions on CD. The final composition he added was by the Polish composer Henryk Mikolaj Górecki. After his death, his spouse continued collecting Stabat Mater compositions and managing the site.
In 1998 the Dutch Stabat Mater Foundation was founded, and there were warm, inspiring, and supporting contacts with the Foundation, such as the concerts in St. Petrus Church in Oirschot. These took place every year two weeks before Easter from 1998 until 2018.
In 2014 the desire and the need to renew the site grew. With the help of the Stabat Mater Foundation that wish became a reality. The site got a new look, and the technical aspects were much improved. All data were encoded in a database, which made the site far more accessible.
In 2020, the Ultimate Stabat Mater Website once again got an amazing offer from the Foundation for Sacred Music to renew and improve the site to get more visitors and ensure continuity in the future. For this purpose Hannie decided in June 2020 to create the Ultimate Stabat Mater website Foundation. This foundation aims, with its unique collection and expertise, to be of assistance to composers, musicians, and music lovers anywhere in the world. In addition the foundation was established to guarantee the continued existence of the unique website so that collected knowledge and expertise will not be lost.