for baritone solo, SATB chorus, children's choir (or semi-chorus), and small orchestra (or piano/organ)
McDowall's setting of the Stabat Mater has been described as 'an outstanding work of great solemnity and poignancy' (Tempo, 2013). The work comprises seven movements in a symmetrical structure-from the impassioned choral opening, through two intense yet diverse baritone solos and contemplative plainchant chorales, to the stately finale uniting all the voices. The optimistic central movement, in a major tonality, may be performed by children's choir or a semi-chorus of sopranos and altos from
the main group. A plaintive meditation on the sorrows of the Virgin Mary as she stands by the Cross, McDowall's Stabat Mater is a sophisticated modern alternative to more well-known settings, ideal for performance at non-liturgical Lenten services.
The piano reduction in the score, which can be adapted for organ, may be used for concert performance if an orchestra is not available.
Educated at Edinburgh and London Universities, Cecilia McDowall has been described by the International Record Review as having a 'communicative gift that is very rare in modern music. An award-winning composer, McDowall is often inspired by extra-musical influences, and her choral writing combines rhythmic vitality with expressive lyricism. Her music has been commissioned, performed, and recorded by leading choirs, among them Phoenix Chorale and the Choir of New College, Oxford, and is regularly programmed at prestigious festivals in Britain and abroad.
Stabat Mater dolorosa (Chorus) ; Quis est homo qui non fleret (Chorale) ; Pro peccatis suae gentis (Baritone solo) ; Eia Mater, fons amoris (Children's choir) ; Sancta Mater (Baritone solo) ; Virgo virginum praeclara (Chorale) ; Inflammatus et accensus (All voices)