Felice Anerio (±1560-1614): Stabat Mater A12

From about 1610 a spirit of triumphalism could be heard in much of the music heard in the Sistine Chapel. There was a trend towards the use of massive vocal forces such as the Masse and Motets scored double and triple choirs (including basso continuo) composed by Vincenzo Ugolini, (1580 – 1638), maestro di capella at St Peter´’s from 1620 on. Felice Anerio’s twelve-part setting of the Stabat Mater should be seen in this context of Counter-reformation triumphalism. To my mind it’s certainly the equal of the better known eight-part settings by de Lassus and Palestrina. One of the things that makes Anerio’s setting of the Stabat Mater is his ingenious manipulation of the harmonic rhythms of the piece to suggest triple time when it is fact in duple time.*

This ingenuity coupled with his masterly use of harmony, rhythm, and his controlled use of textural changes ensure that musical interest and momentum are maintained throughout the piece.
Enjoy :-).


* There is one place in the motet where Anerio uses true triple time at the words ‘Inflammatus et accensus… in die iudicia’ (towards the end) — mfi.

Video & Description Source: Felice Anerio (±1560-1614): Stabat Mater A12 – YouTube Published on Jan 26, 2014 by markfromireland

Text & Translation: Stabat Mater

Stabat mater dolorosa
Iuxta crucem lacrimosa,
Dum pendebat Filius.
The mother was standing sorrowfully
next to the cross, tearful
as her Son was hanging.
Cuius animam gementem,
Contristatam et dolentem,
Pertransivit gladius.
Whose soul, groaning,
sad and sorrowful,
the sword has pierced through.
O quam tristis et afflicta
Fuit illa benedicta
Mater unigeniti.
Oh, how miserable and afflicted
was that blessed
mother of an only Son.
Quae moerebat et dolebat,
Pia mater, cum videbat
Nati poenas inclyti.
She lamented and grieved,
the holy mother, when she saw
the pains of her glorious Son.
Quis est homo, qui non fleret,
Christi matrem si videret
In tanto supplicio?
Who is the man that would not weep
were he to see the mother of Christ
in such distress?
Quis non posset contristari,
Christi matrem comtemplari
Dolentem cum Filio?
Who would not be made sad
at the thought of Christ’s mother
grieving with her Son?
Pro peccatis suae gentis
Vidit Iesum in tormentis
Et flagellis subditum.
For the sins of his people
she saw Jesus subjected to
torments and lashes.
Vidit suum dulcem Natum
Moriendo desolatum,
Dum emisit spiritum.
She saw her sweet Son
dying, deserted
as he gave up his spirit.
Eia mater, fons amoris,
Me sentire vim doloris
Fac, ut tecum lugeam.
O mother, thou fount of love,
make me feel the force of your grief
so that I may mourn with you.
Fac ut ardeat cor meum
In amando Christum Deum,
Ut sibi complaceam.
Make my heart burn
with love for Christ the God
so that I may be reconciled with him.
Sancta mater, istud agas
Crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.
Holy mother, grant this favour,
imprint the wounds of the Crucified
deeply within my heart.
Tui Nati vulnerari
Tam dignati pro me pati
Poenas mecum divide.
Your wounded Son,
who deigned to suffer so much for me,
may he share his pains with me.
Fac me vere tecum flere,
Crucifixo condolere
Donec ego vixero.
Let me truly weep with you,
and suffer with the Crucified
as long as I live.
Iuxta crucem tecum stare,
Et me tibi sociare,
In planctu desidero.
To stand beside you at the cross
and join with you in lamentation,
is my desire.
Virgo virginum praeclara,
Mihi iam non sis amara,
Fac me tecum plangere.
O Virgin, pre-eminent among virgins,
do not be bitter towards me,
let me weep with you.
Fac, ut portem Christi mortem
Passionis fac consortem
Et plagas recolere.
Let me bear the death of Christ,
let me share in his passion,
and contemplate his wounds.
Fac me plagis vulnerari
Cruce hac inebriari
Ob amorem Filii.
Let me be wounded with his wounds,
intoxicated by the cross
and the blood of your Son.
Inflammatus et accensus
Per te, Virgo, sim defensus
In die iudicii.
Though I burn and am aflame,
may I be defended by you, O Virgin,
on the day of judgement.
Fac me cruce custodiri
Morte Christi praemuniri
Confoveri gratia.
Let me be protected by the cross,
fortified by the death of Christ,
strengthened by grace.
Quando corpus morietur
Fac, ut animae donetur
Paradisi gloria.
When my body dies,
let my soul be granted
the glory of paradise.