Conducted by Richard Cock. Sir Karl William Pamp Jenkins, CBE(born 1944) is a Welsh musician and composer. Jenkins began his musical career as an oboist in the National Youth Orchestra of Wales. He went on to study music at Cardiff University, and then commenced postgraduate studies in London at the Royal Academy of Music, where he is a fellow and an associate and where he also met his wife and musical collaborator, Carol Barratt. He was a member of the jazz-rock band Soft Machine.
Stabat Mater is a 2008 piece Jenkins based on the prayer Stabat Mater. Like much of Jenkins’ earlier work, the piece incorporates both traditional Western music (orchestra and choir) with ethnic instruments and vocals – this time focusing on the Middle East. Written in the 13th century, the title Stabat Mater is actually an abbreviation of the first line, Stabat Mater dolorosa (‘The sorrowful Mother was standing’). The poem reflects on the suffering of Mary, mother of Jesus, at the time of the Crucifixion. Jenkins’ setting of the 20-verse poem is actually one of the longest of hundreds of extant settings of the work.
Jenkins’ work extends across twelve movements, six of which use texts other than the original poem. They include a choral arrangement of the “Ave verum” Jenkins originally wrote for Bryn Terfel; a movement entitled “And The Mother Did Weep” which comprises a single line sung simultaneously in English, Latin, Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew; “Lament,” written by Jenkins’ wife Carol Barratt; and “Incantation,” which is partly sung in early Arabic.
Unlike earlier adaptations of the text, Jenkins incorporates the language of the period, with lines sung in Aramaic and early Arabic. The addition of Armenian instrument the duduk (or ney) heightens the Eastern atmosphere, and its deep double-reeded sound adds a richer, more resonant dimension to the work than can perhaps be achieved using Orchestra alone. Alongside the duduk, Jenkins features percussion from the Middle East, such as the darabuca, def, doholla, and riq.