Sunday, April 3, 2011

Stabat Mater

Deutsche Grammophon is releasing a Pergolesi CD, with Anna Netrebko and Marianna Pizzolato, and I was lucky enough to be gifted with a copy last week. Today I listened to track 12, Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, the beautiful hymn about the suffering of Mary during Christ's crucifiction. As I listened to it, I recalled years ago seeing the film Cactus (1986), a haunting Australian film starring the radiant Isabelle Hupert, who I'd only seen previously in Lady of the Camelias (1981). Her restrained, Garbo-esque beauty is set against the lush, primeval backdrop of a heavily treed Australia. She plays a woman losing her sight, after a dreadful accident, only to find herself falling in love with a blind man. I recall little enough though, that I want to see it again.

Stabat mater dolorosa
juxta Crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius.

At the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to her son to the last.

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