Poulenc. Stabat Mater. Sampson/capella Amsterdam/e
Label: harmonia mundi
Catalog: HMC 902149
Carolyn Sampson (soprano), Cappella Amsterdam, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Estonian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Reuss
Composed by: Poulenc: Stabat Mater, Sept Répons de Ténèbres
Poulenc’s Stabat Mater, which the composer described as, "a requiem without despair," was written in 1950 following the death of Christian Bérard, a leading figure of 1940s Paris who designed the sets for Cocteau’s films and plays. This masterly work, dedicated to the Virgin of Rocamadour, gives pride of place to the chorus and clearly shows its line of descent from the French motets of the age of Louis XIV. It is paired with the Sept Répons de Ténèbres, Poulenc's last choral work. Although sacred in nature, it was written for a non-religious celebration, the opening of New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. This recording's superb cast features soprano Carolyn Sampson and the Estonian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra led by Daniel Reuss.