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Sunday, March 26, 2023

Two visions of the seven sorrows of Mary

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Alois Muehlbacher
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The first musica sacra concert at Passiontide, which took up the subject of “Stabat Mater” on Sunday in the Minoritenkirche in Linz, was very well received. The liturgical text commemorating the seven sorrows of Mary has inspired many composers.

Two settings were the focus of this evening. First the one for alto, strings and basso continuo by Antonio Vivaldi, which, despite its simple style, direct expression and almost uniformly slow tempo, achieves incredible depth. Alois Mühlbacher implemented this wonderfully. He built up the suspense up to the redeeming fast Amen and interpreted the text with his voice insistently.

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Marco Rosano wrote the other Stabat Mater in 2004 in the same instrumentation for the countertenor Andreas Scholl. He partially reduces the accompaniment to simple soundscapes, over which an expressive song develops, the meditative overall mood is almost visionarily exaggerated. Alois Mühlbacher also staged this approach convincingly, although one should have taken more freedom and courage to go to extremes.

The Ensemble Castor rounded off the evening with a fine selection of Vivaldi. (wuss)

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