Giovanni Battista Pergolesi: Stabat mater(This post is a part of my series introducing to the enjoyment of classical music.)
Stabat Mater is a poem from the 13th century, commonly attributed to Jacopone da Todi, a Franciscan monk. It's one of the few sequences (a song specific to the given feast, which is sung before the gospel) still in use in the Roman Catholic liturgy - currently it is on the feast of "Mater Dolorosa", 15 Sept.
Stabat Mater is a meditation at Christ's cross. The richness in thoughts and pictures, its disciplined structure and colorful language usage are all exceptional, a good expression of the 13th century's exstatic view of the world. A poem basically - similarly to the Dies irae sequentia of the requiem, which is also from this century - draws a picture of a fundamental scene of Christian faith and comes to the personal participation - taking misery voluntarily gives the certainty in salvation. This route can be summarized by quoting 3 verses (in the translation of Edward Caswall):