Required Resources: SATB choir
Stabat Mater speciosa is a much-overlooked hymn text by Jacapone da Todi, written in 1495.
Its Christmas theme contrasts with the similar text by the same author, Stabat Mater dolorosa, the more familiar one that is associated with Stations of the Cross.
The Christmas text was rescued from obscurity by Antoine-Frederic Ozanam who published it in 1852.
It was used by Franz Liszt in his oratorio Christus.
Colin Brumby has set 22 verses in Latin and the same number in an English translation by Denis MacCarthy (1894).
They are divided into four groups.
Each group begins with three verses in each language, as a unison melody, unaccompanied.
Following this are three more verses in each language, set for SATB choir, also a cappella.
Typical of Dr. Brumby's writing, the melodies are beautiful and the choral parts are easy and well within comfortable ranges.