American Bach Soloists 39

Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen sings Gluck, Handel, & Vivaldi

  1. Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787)
    Aria: “Sperai vicino il lido” (Timante) from Demofoonte (1743) Wq. 3
    8:28
  2. Christoph Willibald Gluck
    Recitative & Aria: “Ahimé! Dove trascorsi?” … “Che faró senza Euridice?” (Orfeo) from Orfeo ed Euridice (1762) Wq. 30
    5:47
  3. Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
    Sinfonia from Il Farnace (1731) RV 711
    5:57
  4. George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
    Recitative & Aria: “Otton, qual portentoso fulmine” … “Voi che udite il mio lamento” (Ottone) from Agrippina (1709) HWV 6
    6:37
  5. George Frideric Handel
    Recitative & Aria: “Che più si tarda omai” … “Inumano fratel” … “Stille amare” (Tolomeo) from Tolomeo (1728) HWV 25
    7:42
  6. George Frideric Handel
    Aria: “Vivi, tiranno! Io t'ho scampato” (Bertarido) from Rodelinda, regina de' Longobardi (1725) HWV 19
    6:04
  7. George Frideric Handel 
    Sinfonia, Recitative, & Aria: "Pompe vane di morte!" … “Dove sei, amato bene?” (Bertarido) from Rodelinda, regina de' Longobardi (1725) HWV 19
    7:46
  8. Antonio Vivaldi
    Sinfonia from La Verità in Cimento (1720) RV 739
    5:19
  9. Antonio Vivaldi
    Stabat Mater (1712) RV 621: 1. Stabat Mater dolorosa
    2:28 (17:34 total)
  10. Antonio Vivaldi
    Stabat Mater (1712) RV 621: 2. Cujus animam gementem
    1:42
  11. Antonio Vivaldi
    Stabat Mater (1712) RV 621: 3. O quam tristis et afflicta
    1:52
  12. Antonio Vivaldi
    Stabat Mater (1712) RV 621: 4. Quis est homo qui non fleret
    2:30
  13. Antonio Vivaldi
    Stabat Mater (1712) RV 621: 5. Quis non posset contristari
    1:41
  14. Antonio Vivaldi
    Stabat Mater (1712) RV 621: 6. Pro peccatis suae gentis
    1:55
  15. Antonio Vivaldi
    Stabat Mater (1712) RV 621: 7. Eja Mater, fons amoris 
    2:33
  16. Antonio Vivaldi
    Stabat Mater (1712) RV 621: 8. Fac, ut ardeat cor meum 
    1:24
  17. Antonio Vivaldi
    Stabat Mater (1712) RV 621: 9. Amen
    1:29

    Total CD length: 71:14

Program Notes

by Victor Gavenda

The form of theatrical entertainment that is now known as opera seria ruled the theaters of Europe (outside France) throughout the course of the 18th century. Known at the time generally as “dramma per musica”, it referred to opera, sung in Italian, with a plot on a heroic or tragic subject. Musically and dramatically, the action in these works played out through passages of recitative with a speech-like melodic line, usually accompanied sparsely by basso continuo. When a dramatic situation reached a point of crisis, the action stopped and one character poured out their emotional reaction to the situation in an aria. These arias were usually in two parts; the end of the second part very often bore the indication “Da capo” (literally “from the head”) and so the first part would be repeated. Today we know these as “Da capo” arias. Often, the singer would improvise florid ornaments on the repeated section.

These operas became virtuoso showpieces for the singers, and especially for one class of singer: the castrato. This was a male who had been surgically altered before puberty to prevent his voice from changing. Because castrati kept the vocal apparatus of a child, but developed the larger lung capacity and bone structure of a full-grown man, they were capable of producing a high-pitched vocal tone of great power and agility. Cast in the leading roles in opera seria, the greatest of these singers enjoyed pop-star status, earning both enormous fees for their services and continent-wide fame.

Because of the great prestige of opera seria, and the sizable budgets associated with it, many of the greatest composers of the 18th century wrote for the genre. But in the absence of castrati in the modern world, how are we to hear these works? This already began to become a problem in the later 18th century as the supply of worthy castrati declined. Women, both altos and sopranos, usually took their place. When the operas of Handel and Gluck were first revived in the early 20th century, gender-appropriate casting was valued more highly than musical integrity, and the male roles for sopranos and altos were re-written for tenors and basses. Later in the century, countertenors (male singers with normal vocal mechanisms who develop their head range, or falsetto voice) began to take up these roles, giving us Orfeos and Tolomeos who are not only men but also sing in the proper range!

The most recent generation of countertenors continues to develop their technical and expressive abilities to levels that give us a glimpse of the experience of 18th-century listeners.

ARIAS BY GLUCK

Before settling in Vienna in 1752, Christoph Willibald Gluck spent more than a decade as an itinerant musician, working in a number of European capitals. He began his travels in Milan, where he composed four operas for the Teatro Regio Ducal, all settings of libretti by Pietro Metastasio. Metastasio’s dramas were the epitome of the opera seria genre; some of them were set by dozens of composers throughout the 18th century.

The second of these operas was Demofoönte, first performed on January 6, 1743. Its complicated plot—typical of Metastasio—revolves around dramatic features like mistaken identity, hidden paternity, and unrealistic resolutions of the sort that Gluck was later to reject. It hero is Timante, believed to be the son of Demofoönte, King of Thrace. Gluck wrote the role for the great alto castrato Giovanni Carestini, who had previously worked for Handel in London. In the middle of Act I, Timante, learns that his father has arranged a marriage for him with the daughter of a foreign prince; yet Timante has already wed another woman in secret. In the soliloquy “Sperai vicino il lido” he expresses his consternation using the analogy of a shipwreck, a poetic device much favored by Metastasio.

Demofoönte was one of Gluck’s early successes. The first modern performance of the opera took place in Vienna on November 23, 2014 under the direction of Alan Curtis and featured Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen in the role of Timante.

Gluck’s masterpiece, Orfeo ed Euridice, was first performed at the Burgtheater (“palace theater”) in Vienna on October 5, 1762. With this work, Gluck attempted to strip away decades of stale habits that had accreted to opera seria. He and his librettist, Ranieri de' Calzabigi, wanted to introduce classical simplicity into serious opera. Many of the changes they made were borrowed from the French genre of tragédie lirique, especially the work of Jean-Philippe Rameau. Their endeavor included simplifying the action by pruning away sub-plots and deceptions, shortening the amount of recitative, and reducing the number of “da capo” arias.

Act 3 of the opera begins as the two lovers make their way out of the Underworld back to Earth. To uphold his part of the bargain that he made with Amore, Orfeo refrains from looking at Euridice, or even from touching her. This causes Euridice such anguish that Orfeo feels compelled to turn and gaze upon his beloved Euridice—only to see her perish once more. The accompanied recitative “Ahimè! Dove trascorsi” and the aria "Che farò senza Euridice" follow immediately upon the horrible sight. Spoiler alert: in contrast to the traditional ancient Greek telling of the story, Calzabigi’s ending has Amore take pity on Orfeo and restores Euridice to life, allowing the lovers to celebrate a happy ending.

ARIAS BY HANDEL

Though born a Saxon and a subject of His Most Britannic Majesty for most of his life, Georg Friedrich (or George Frideric) Handel was one of the greatest composers of Italian opera. Handel was bitten by the opera bug early in his career. In the first few years of the 18th century, he played second violin and harpsichord in the orchestra of the Hamburg Opera House and composed at least four works for that stage. In 1706 he left Hamburg for Italy where he spent three years. Most of that time he worked in Rome, where opera was forbidden by papal decree, but he learned much about Italian style especially with regard to composing for the voice. Before leaving the country for London, though, he composed the opera Agrippina for Venice which had its first performance at the end of 1709. It is considered by many to be the young composer’s first operatic masterpiece (even though it followed contemporary convention by borrowing much of its music from other works).

Agrippina was the wife of the Roman Emperor Claudius and the mother of Nero. The opera’s satirical plot follows her twisted plan to oust her husband and place her son on the throne. Claudius intends that his military commander, Ottone, succeed him; yet Agrippina’s scheming succeeds in turning Claudius against him. Ottone—originally sung by a female alto—expresses his shock and despair in the dramatic recitative “Otton, qual portentoso fulmine” and aria “Voi che udite il mio lamento.”

After his Venetian triumph with Agrippina, Handel left Italy, working his way northward. In 1710 he arrived in Hannover, where he was appointed Kapellmeister to the Electoral court. Soon after, Handel was on his way to London. There (aside from a few brief intervals on the Continent) he was to remain for the rest of his life. In 1719, the newly formed Royal Academy of Music engaged Handel as Master of the Orchestra with the aim of securing a steady supply of Italian opera for London. His duties included hiring singers and finding new operatic repertoire; much of the latter, of course, he would compose himself.

Rodelinda, regina de' Longobardi ("Rodelinda, Queen of the Longobards") was Handel’s seventh work for the company. Nicola Francesco Haym adapted the text from an earlier libretto. Haym was to provide the texts for a half-dozen of Handel’s London operas. Rodelinda received its first performance on February 13, 1725, in the King’s Theatre in the Haymarket, London. It was one of Handel’s most successful operas: The first production ran to 14 performances, and enjoyed revivals at the end of 1725 and in 1731. This is another tale of an overthrown monarch in hiding, marital fidelity put to the test, and attempted assassination—all ending with the King of Lombardy, Bertrarido, back on his throne reunited with his beloved wife (Rodelinda) and the obligatory general rejoicing.

Handel wrote Bertarido for the renowned contralto castrato, Francesco Bernardi (known as “Senesino”) for whom Handel created 17 leading roles. In Act I, scene vi he comes across his own memorial urn (he is thought to be dead). He describes his feelings in the accompanied recitative “Pompe vane di morte!” In a remarkable stroke, the accompaniment falls silent as he reads the inscription out loud. That is followed by the poignant aria “Dove sei, amato bene!” This aria was not part of Haym’s original text, but was added before the first performance. In a further sign of the fluid nature of 18th-century opera scores, Handel added the two-word link between the recitative and the aria after the initial run of the opera—then changed his mind about it later.

In Act III, scene viii, Bertarido confronts his usurper, but magnanimously spares his life. In “Vivi tiranno!” (another first-revival addition) our hero explains to his enemy that his reluctance to take revenge proves the nobility of his heart. This spectacular aria not only affords plenty of the vocal fireworks that castrati were famous for, but also allows room for rich ornamentation on the repetition of the opening section—another castrato specialty.

The Royal Academy lasted until 1729; Handel’s 13th and final opera for the group was Tolomeo, re d’Egitto ("Ptolemy, King of Egypt"). It premiered at the King’s Theatre on April 30, 1728. Once again, Haym supplied the libretto, adapting it from Carlo Sigismondo Capece’s play Tolomeo et Alessandro. Senesino again took the title role. The story is based loosely on the life of Ptolemy IX Lathyros, king of Egypt around 100 B.C. Once again, we have a usurper: Tolomeo’s mother, Cleopatra III, tries to depose him in favor of his brother, Alessandro (who did actually rule Egypt for a while as Ptolemy X Alexander I). Ptolemy is shipwrecked, goes into hiding under an assumed name; a local princess (Elisa) falls in love with him; Alessandro falls in love with her; Tolomeo’s wife arrives, also using an alias.

Eventually, Elisa convinces Tolomeo to drink poison to prove his love for his wife. All of his heartbreak and frustration come pouring out in a dramatic soliloquy from Act III which takes the form of simple recitative “Che più si tarda omai” just before swallowing the bitter liquid and building to accompanied recitative “Inumano fratel” and culminating in the deeply affecting aria of resignation “Stille amare”. But don’t worry, it was only a sleeping draught after all! Ptolemy awakes and is reunited with his wife, and the opera ends with reconciliation and celebration.

VIVALDI SINFONIAS

In addition to composing large quantities of church music, over 500 concertos for a variety of instruments, and directing the music at a large orphanage in Venice, Antonio Vivaldi had a significant career in opera. Near the end of his life, he claimed to have produced 94 operas (though probably only half of those were his own compositions). Most of these works opened with brief orchestral works in three movements (in the pattern fast-slow-fast). These early 18th-century Sinfonie generally bore scant musical connection with the opera that followed, but they are important historically because they are the direct ancestors of the great symphonies of the Classical and Romantic eras.

The two overtures heard here belong to operas that Vivaldi composed for the Teatro Sant’Angelo in Venice, where he served as impresario beginning in 1714. He wrote La Verità in Cimento ("Truth in Contention") for the 1720 Carnival season. It was the composer’s 13th opera, even though he had written his first only 7 years before. Vivaldi premiered Farnace in 1727, and quickly became one of Vivaldi’s most successful operas, as shown by a 1730 revival in Prague.

VIVALDI STABAT MATER
by Jeffrey Thomas

Antonio Vivaldi was a native of Venice, the son of one of the leading violinists of San Marco, from whom he received his earliest musical training. Ordained and called “Il Prete Rosso” (the Red Priest) from the color of his hair, he became director of music at the Ospedale della Pietà, a home for orphans. It was for the orchestra there of talented and musically accomplished young girls that Vivaldi wrote many of his almost 500 concertos. Although Vivaldi was never appointed to the position of maestro di capella at San Marco, his music was often performed there. In Venice, the right to compose sacred music was given only by official appointment, and those who acquired such appoint-ments jealously guarded their privileges. Only those maestri that held positions at San Marco or one of the four ospedali grandi had any stature or even opportunity to compose sacred music for performance in the churches. Prior to 1712, Vivaldi had been employed to teach violin to the most gifted girls at the Ospedale della Pieta. In addition, he was highly regarded as a virtuoso and composer of instrumental music, having published L’estro armonico in Amsterdam in 1711. But in April 1713, Francesco Gasparini suddenly left his post as maestro di coro at the Pietà, and Vivaldi was able to fill in on an interim basis until the next official appointment of Carlo Luigi Pietragrua in February 1719. Without this chance occurrence of Gasparini’s departure and Vivaldi’s readiness, he might have continued on in his secular career and never had the occasion to compose for the church. But even his appointment to one of the ospedali instead of San Marco was fortuitous; 18th century tourists in Venice visited the ospedali chapels to hear the best concerts, not San Marco.

As luck would have it, about a year before Vivaldi assumed the post as maestro di coro at the Pietà, the Oratorian order’s church of Santa Maria della Pace in Brescia had commissioned him to compose a setting of the Stabat Mater to be performed for the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary (the Friday before Palm Sunday) on 18 March 1712. The work constitutes Vivaldi’s first sacred composition; no earlier opus has been found among his possessions. Scored discretely for strings and basso continuo (plus voice), its structure was strictly dictated by the Oratorian commissioners: only the first half of the text was to be set to music, as a hymn to be sung during the service for the Feast of the Seven Sorrows (verses 11 to 14 being reserved for Matins, and verses 15 to 20 for Lauds); the setting had to be thematically economical and adhere as much as possible to homotonality; the music for movements IV to VI should be almost identical to that for movements I to III; and the music should vary from one movement to another, but the tempos should be kept moderate.

Vivaldi used the first eight verses of the Stabat Mater sequence, which depict the drama and suffering of Christ’s mother at the scene of the crucifixion. The mood of the music is almost oppressive, centering more or less constantly on the dark keys of F minor and C minor. Only at the last moment—the final F major chord of the work—is there a reward for her suffering, a reward for the faithful. Later he would revisit the dramatic material of the story of the Virgin in his settings of the Salve Regina, again scored for the dark, low contralto (countertenor) voice.


Texts & Translations

Demofoonte, Wq. 3 (1743)
Music by Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787)
Text by Pietro Metastasio (1698-1782)

Aria: “Sperai vicino il lido” (Timante)
Act I, Scene 4
Sperai vicino il lido 
credei calmato il vento; 
ma trasportar mi sento
fra le tempeste ancor. 

E da uno scoglio infido 
mentre salvar mi voglio, 
urto in un altro scoglio 
del primo assai peggior.

I hoped that the harbor was close;
I believed that the wind had calmed, 
but I feel that I am thrown
in another storm again. 

And just when I was trying to save myself 
from a treacherous rock, 
I crashed into another rock, 
worse than the first.

Orfeo ed Euridice, Wq. 30 (1762)
Music by Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787)
Text by Fanieri de’ Calzabigi (1714-1795)

Recitative & Aria: “Ahimé! Dove trascorsi?” … “Che faró senza Euridice?” (Orfeo)
Act III, Scene 1
Ahimè! Dove trascorsi
ove mi spinse
un delirio d’amor?
   (le s’accosta con fretta)
Sposa! Euridice!
   (la scuote)
Euridice! Consorte!
Ah più non vive,
la chiamo invan!
Misero me!
La perdo, e di nuovo e per sempre!
O legge! O morte!
O ricordo crudel!
Non ho soccorso,
non m’avanza consiglio!
Io veggo solo – a fiera vista –
il luttuoso aspetto
dell’orrido mio stato!
Saziati, sorte rea!
Son disperato!

Che farò senza Euridice?
Dove andrò senza il mio ben?
Euridice! Euridice!
O Dio! Rispondi!
lo son pure il tuo fedel!
Euridice! Euridice!
Ah! non m’avanza
più soccorso più speranza,
né dal mondo, né dal ciel!

Alas! What have I done?
Where has love’s frenzy
driven me?
   (He rushes to her)
Beloved Eurydice!
   (He shakes her)
Eurydice! My wife!
Ah! She lives no longer,
I call her in vain!
Woe is me!
I have lost her again, and forever!
Cruel decree! Oh death!
Oh bitter reminder!
There is no help,
no counsel for me!
I see only – ah, cruel sight! –
the mournful signs
of my terrible plight!
Be satisfied, malevolent fate!
I am in despair!

What shall I do without Eurydice?
Where shall I go without my love?
Eurydice! Eurydice!
O heavens! Answer!
I am still true to you!
Eurydice! Eurydice!
Ah, there is no help,
no hope for me
either on earth nor in heaven!
Agrippina (1709) HWV 6
Music by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Text by Cardinal Vincenzo Grimani (1652-1710)

Recitative & Aria: “Otton, qual portentoso fulmine” … “Voi che udite il mio lamento” (Ottone)
Act II, scene 5
Otton, Otton, qual portentoso fulmine è questi?
Ah, ingrato Cesare, infidi amici, e Cieli ingiusti!
Mà più del Ciel, di Claudio, o degl’amici ingiusta,
ingrata, ed infidel Poppea!
Io traditor? io mostro d’infedeltà ?
Ahi Cielo, ahi fato rio!
evvi duolo maggio del duolo mio?

Ottone, Ottone, what menacing thunderbolt is this?
Ah, ungrateful Caesar, faithless friends, unjust heaven!
But more ungrateful and unfaithful than unjust heaven,
Claudio, or friends, is unjust, ungrateful, unfaithful Poppea!
I, a traitor? I, a monster of unfaithfulness?
Ah, heavens, ah, evil fate!
Has there been suffering worse than mine?

Voi che udite il mio lamento,
campatite il mio dolor.
   Perdo un trono, e pur lo sprezzo,
   mà quel ben che tanto apprezzo,
   ahi che perderlo è tormento
   che disanima il mio cor.

You who hear my laments,
share my grief.
   I lose a throne, which I despise,
   but my beloved, whom I prize so greatly,
   ah! what torment it is to lose her,
   throws into disarray my heart.
Tolomeo, HWV 25 (1728)
Music by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Text by Nicola Francesco Haym (1678–1729) 
   adapted from Carlo Sigismondo Capece's (1652-1728) Tolomeo et Alessandro

Recitative & Aria: “Che più si tarda omai” … “Inumano fratel” … “Stille amare”  (Tolomeo)
Che più si tarda omai,
O neghittose labbra,
A dissetar con queste poche stille, 
Che Elisa ti presenta,
L’empio furor della tua sorte irata ? 
Si beva, sì !

Why do you delay further,
O slothful lips,
In quenching, with these few drops
That Elisa gives you,
The pitiless rage of your angry fate?
Yes, let me drink, yes!
Inumano fratel, barbara madre,
Ingiusto Araspe, dispietata Elisa,
Numi o furie del ciel, cielo nemico,
Implacabil destin, tiranna sorte,
Tutti v’invito
A gustar il piacer della mia morte.

Inhuman brother, barbarous mother
Unjust Araspes, merciless Elisa,
Ye Gods, or furies of heaven, hostile heaven,
Implacable destiny, tyrannical fate,
I invite all of you
To delight in my death.

Ma tu, consorte amata,
Non pianger, no, mentre che lieto spiro;
Basta che ad incontrar l’anima mia,
Quando uscirà dal sen, mandi un sospiro.

But you, my beloved spouse,
Do not weep, no, while I gladly die;
Let it suffice that, to meet my soul
When it leaves my bosom, you will send a sigh.

Stille amare, già vi sento
Tutte in seno, la morte a chiamar;
Già vi sento smorzare il tormento,
Già vi sento tornarmi a bear.
   Stille amare (etc.)

Bitter drops, already I feel you
All in my breast, calling for death;
Already I feel you ease my torment,
Already I feel you restore my happiness.
   Bitter drops (etc.)

Rodelinda, regina de’ Longobardi, HWV 19 (1725)
Music by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Text by Nicola Francesco Haym (1678-1729) 
   after Antonio Salvi (1664-1724)

Aria: “Vivi, tiranno! Io t’ho scampato” (Bertarido)
Act III, Scene 8
Vivi tiranno!
Io t’ho scampato
Svenami, ingrato,
sfoga il furor.
Volli salvarti
sol per mostrarti
ch’ho di mia sorte
più grande cor.
   Vivi tiranno (etc.)

Live tyrant!
I escaped you
Then kill me, you’re ungrateful,
the furor escapes.
I would have saved you
If only to show you
I have in my destiny
a superior heart.
   Live tyrant (etc.)
Recitative & Aria: "Pompe vane di morte!" ... “Dove sei, amato bene?” (Bertarido)
Act I, Scene 6
Pompe vane di morte!
Menzogne di dolor,
che riserbate il mio volto e'l mio nome,
ed adulate del vincitor superbo il genio altiero:
voi dite, ch'io son morto;
ma risponde il mio duol,
che non è vero.

The hollow splendor of death! 
This sham of grief preserves 
my name and likeness, 
and yet flatters the pride of the haughty victor! 
You say that I am dead, but my grief replies 
that it is not so. 

   (legge l'iscrizione)

"Bertarido fu Re; da Grimoaldo
vinto fuggì, presso degli Unni giace.
Abbia l'alma riposo, e'l cener pace".

   (reading the inscription)

“Bertarido was king. Defeated by Grimoaldo, he fled and now lies near the Huns. May his soul find rest and his ashes peace.” 

Pace al cener mio?
Astri tiranni!
Dunque fin ch'avrò vita,
guerra avrò con gli stenti, e con gli affanni.

Peace for my ashes?
The tyranny of fortune! 
So long as I live 
I shall be fighting hardship and distress. 

Dove sei, amato bene!
Vieni, l’alma a consolar!
Sono oppresso da’ tormenti
ed i crudeli miei lamenti
sol con te posso bear.
   Dove sei (etc.)

Where are you dear beloved!
Come and console my soul!
I am oppressed by torments
and these cruel lamentations
I can only release when you are beside me.
   Where are you (etc.)

Stabat Mater, RV 621 (1712)
Music by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Text attributed to Jacopone da Todi (ca. 1230-1306) or Pope Innocent III (1160-1216)
1.
Stabat Mater dolorosa
Iuxta crucem lacrimosa
dum pendebat Filius.

2.
Cujus animam gementem
contristatam et dolentem
pertransivit gladius.

3.
O quam tristis et afflicta
fuit illa benedicta
Mater unigeniti!

Quae moerebat et dolebat,
pia Mater, dum videbat
nati poenas incliti.

4.
Quis est homo qui non fleret,
Matrem Christi si videret
in tanto supplicio?

5.
Quis non posset contristari,
Christi Matrem contemplari
dolentem cum Filio?

6.
Pro peccatis suae gentis
vidit Iesum in tormentis,
et flagellis subditum.

Vidit suum dulcem natum
moriendo desolatum
dum emisit spiritum.

7.
Eja Mater, fons amoris 
me sentire vim doloris
fac, ut tecum lugeam.

8.
Fac, ut ardeat cor meum 
in amando Christum Deum 
ut sibi complaceam. 

9.
Amen.

1.
The Mother stood, in sorrow
and in tears, by the cross
as her Son hung from it.

2.
Her weeping heart
full of anguish and sorrow, 
a sword had pierced.

3.
Oh how sad and desolate
was that holy
Mother of the only-begotten Son!

She grieved and she suffered
and trembled as she witnessed
the pains of her glorious Son.

4.
Which in the man who would not weep
if he saw the Mother of Christ
in such deep suffering?

5.
Who could fail to be moved 
watching that sweet mother
grieving with her Son?

6.
For the sins of his people 
she saw Jesus being tortured
and subjected to scourging.

She watched her own beloved Son
deserted as he died,
as he breathed his last.

7.
O Mother, source of love,
let me feel the strength of this sorrow
so that I may mourn with you.

8.
Make my heart blaze 
with love for Christ the Lord
so that I may please him.

9.
Amen.

The Musicians

AMERICAN BACH SOLOISTS 
performing on period instruments
JEFFREY THOMAS, conductor

ARYEH NUSSBAUM COHEN
visit his web site

Violin
Elizabeth Blumenstock (leader)
Jude Ziliak (principal 2nd)
Cynthia Black
Tatiana Chulochnikova
Toma Iliev
Carla Moore
Maxine Nemerovski
Janet Strauss
Noah Strick
David Wilson
Andrew Wong

Viola
Clio Tilton (principal)
Katherine Kyme
Ramón Negrón Pérez
Jason Pyszkowski

Violoncello
William Skeen (principal)
Gretchen Claassen
Alexa Haynes-Pilon

Contrabass
Steven Lehning (principal)
Daniel Turkos

Harpsichord & Organ
Gabriel Benton

Oboe
Debra Nagy
Stephen Bard

Bassoon
Clay Zeller-Townson


Additional Information

This recording was made possible by the generous support of 
James R. Meehan and Don Scott Carpenter.  

Producer: Chris Landen

Assistant Producer: Steven Lehning

Recording Engineer: Andrés Villalta

Production Logistics: John Jaworski

Cover Art: Photography by Dario Acosta

Recorded January 2-4 2019 at St. Stephen’s Church, Belvedere, California

© ℗ Copyright 2019 American Bach Soloists - All Rights Reserved