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Vaughan Williams on Music$
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David Manning

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182392.001.0001

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British Choral Music and Dvořák, Stabat Mater

British Choral Music and Dvořák, Stabat Mater

(p.403) Chapter 95 British Choral Music and Dvořák, Stabat Mater
Vaughan Williams on Music

David Manning

Oxford University Press

The mental contrast between Gustav Holst and Antonín Dvořák is extreme. Holst has evidently reached his mystical outlook through deep thought; Dvořák took religion as he found it and expressed it näively, warmly, occasionally sentimentally, but above all musically. It has been urged that this setting of the Stabat Mater has no direct connection with the poem. This is partly true. In listening to the Stabat Mater one must not think of Jacopone de Todi, not even of the austere ritual of Westminster Cathedral or the Vatican Chapel, but of some small country church in Bohemia all suffused with the warm, almost Italian, colouring of its surroundings, with the choir singing, the congregation murmuring their responses, and the simple-minded peasant boy moved to tears by what he listens to, perhaps without altogether understanding it.

Keywords:   Gustav Holst, Antonín Dvořák, mystical outlook, deep thought, religion, Stabat Mater

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