Release Date:

Apr 2002

Number of Discs:



Dolby Surround; Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 Anamorphic



Catalog Number:


Poulenc: Stabat Mater

Judith Howarth (Soprano);

Poulenc wrote his Stabat Mater, a hauntingly passionate work, after visiting the sacred shrine of the Black Madonna of Rocamadour. Poulenc's journey profoundly changed his life and work as a composer. Like the Stabat Mater, the Litanies à la Vierge Noir is also inspired by the Black Virgin of Rocamadour. Recorded here in an unrivalled performance by the combined choirs of St. Johns, Clare and Gonville & Caius Colleges, Cambridge, with the BBC Philharmonic and soprano Judith Howarth.


"The clarity of sound and picture, combined with an astonishingly high energy performance made my near-elderly pulse course with delight." (Evening Standard)

"The ‘extras’ included...defy the norm by adding value to the whole package, powerfully complementing the musical programme and offering genuine insights into the spiritual background to Poulenc’s work...The Clare and Cauis singers are augmented by the choristers and choral scholars of nearby St John’s College, corporately bringing a youthful vibrancy and energy to the music...Christopher Robinson conducts in a way that allows room for phrases to develop naturally...This Stabat Mater interpretation, enhanced by Judith Howarth’s rich, honey-toned soprano solos and alert playing from the BBC Philharmonic, can stand comparison with the finest in the record catalogue, while its visual presentation shades it ahead of the audio-only competition." (Choir & Organ)

Extra features

‘Virtual Visit’ to the shrine of the Black Madonna of Rocamadour with music by James Whitbourn inspired by Poulenc’s Stabat Mater.Leading experts explain why the Black Madonna has always been such an enigmatic source of inspiration, particularly for musicians.Full texts in sung language with English translations.