Estêvão de Brito – Stabat Mater

This two-verse polyphonic setting of the hymn Stabat Mater dolorosa  is attributed to Portuguese composer Estêvão de Brito (c.1575-1641) and is now preserved in a 18th-century copied choirbook in Málaga Cathedral, where Brito was chapel master in the beginning of the 17th century.

The work is for four voices (SATB), and comprises two strophes of the hymn that was to be sung on the Good Friday service. The authorship attribution to Brito is very doubtful. The work sounds more like an eighteenth-century piece than and early-seventeenth one. There are a couple more works such as Lucis Creator optime (will publish it later on) that I believe are misattributed to Brito. Anyway it is a very beautiful work to sing and it is very popular among Portuguese choirs.

I recorded this work in the Summer of 2013 with Ensemble da Sé de Angra, one of several polyphony works we recorded in Angra Cathedral. For this recording the ensemble was made of Sara Vieira (superius), Carolina Barbosa (altus), Luís Henriques (tenor) and Nelson Pereira (bassus).