In a new and orchestrated version, I combine the old and new, giving Fac Me Vere Tecum Flere my own, personal touch. Although performed live many times in Europe, I first recorded Fac Me Vere Tecum Flere, from Joseph Haydn’s Stabat Mater, at a concert at the remote Mexican Mission of San Borja, in the middle of the Sonoran desert, near the small town of Bahia de los Angeles. This concert resulted in the album Musica Sacra. I am in the process of re-releasing parts of this album. To date I have released Caccini’s Ave Maria, Franck’s Panis Angelicus, Schubert’s Litany for the Feast of All Souls, Bach’s Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring. Fac Me Vere Tecum Flere is part of Joseph Haydn’s Stabat Mater which dates from 1767 and is among the earliest of his large-scale vocal works.

Excerpt – Two Hundred Years Later – Sacred Music at Mission San Borjaby Carlos Lazcano (El Vigia)

Dutch Mezzo-Soprano Christel Veraart offered an Angelical Concert in the Central Desert

When the Jesuit missionaries established the missions of old California, one of their fundamental intentions was to develop in the Indians a taste for the arts, including Music. Thus several of the missionaries formed choirs of sacred music, with indigenous voices, mainly with the cochimí of the central region of the peninsula. The most famous choir was the one of the mission at Mulegé, thanks to one of its missionaries who had a strong interest in music. According to some missionaries, the indigenous Californians had an interest and talent for the sacred song, and after some music education their voices sounded wonderful. The return to the sacred With the departure of the Jesuits in 1768, the indigenous choirs of sacred music practically disappeared. More then two hundred years had to pass until this sacred music , in the form of a perfectly trained voice, would return to the missions. This historic event took place last Sunday on March the 18th at the mission of San Francisco de Borja Adac, thanks to the mezzo-soprano Christel Veraart.

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Fac me Vere Tecum Flere – Stabat Mater

The ancient hymn, Stabat Mater has been around since the 13th century and although it is unknown who wrote it, many believe it could be the work of Franciscan friar Jacopone da Todi or Pope Innocent III. Stabat Mater tells the story of the Virgin Mary’s suffering at Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and starts with the words Stabat mater dolorósa meaning ‘the sorrowful mother was standing’. A large number of composers have composed music to the hymn. The words to Stabat Mater were translated into English by 19th century Anglican clergyman and hymn writer Edward Caswall.

The Classical Era (1750–1830)

Classical music is used as an umbrella term for Western instrumental, orchestral and choral music, but the Classical Era specifically refers to music composed between 1750 and 1830. Music from this era is sometimes referred to as Viennese Classicism, as Vienna was the bustling hub of musical activity at the time and home to Gluck, Haydn, Salieri, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. A lot of progress was made in the development of musical instruments during the Classical period. For example, the harpsichord was replaced by the piano as the most common keyboard instrument, and was no longer the musical foundation of the orchestra. Instead, Classical orchestras looked far more like those we know today, with clarinets, oboes, flutes, horns and trumpets joining the strings to create a far richer sound. With more advanced instruments able to interpret and perform solo lines, more emphasis was placed on melody. Composers became more specific about how to perform their works, writing in instructions for dynamics and ornamentation.

Sonata and symphony styles flourished, along with the new string quartet form. Solo instrumental concertos rose in popularity as concerti grossi (concertos for more than one soloist) became less common. The sinfonia concertante (a hybrid between the symphony and the concerto – later labeled as double concerto for violin and viola) form remained popular, however, championed by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges and Mozart.Towards the end of the Classical era, musical styles began to shift and change. Beethoven introduced the new era of Romanticism, defying the traditions passed down by his teacher, Haydn, as he became more ambitious and inventive.

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

Joseph Haydn, in full Franz Joseph Haydn, (born March 31, 1732, Rohrau, Austria—died May 31, 1809, Vienna) was an Austrian composer and one of the most important figures in the development of the Classical style in music during the 18th century. He helped establish the forms and styles for the string quartet and the symphony. At an early age, Haydn revealed unusual musical gifts, and a cousin who was a school principal and choirmaster offered to take him into his home and train him. The young Haydn sang in the church choir, learned to play various instruments, and obtained a good basic knowledge of music. His life changed dramatically when he was eight years old and the musical director of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna invited him to serve as chorister at the Austrian capital’s most important church. Haydn stayed at the choir school for nine years, acquiring an enormous practical knowledge of music by constant performances. When his voice changed however, he was expelled from both the cathedral choir and the choir school. A fortunate chance brought him to the attention of the Italian composer and singing teacher Nicola Porpora, who accepted him as accompanist for voice lessons and become Haydn’s music editor as well. Around this time he was introduced to the music-loving Austrian nobleman Karl Joseph von Fürnberg, in whose home he played chamber music. It was through this man’s recommendation that, in 1758 Haydn was engaged as musical director and chamber composer for the Bohemian count Ferdinand Maximilian von Morzin. Soon after, Haydn was invited to enter the service of Esterházys, one of the wealthiest and most-influential families of the Austrian empire with a distinguished record of supporting music. Prince Pál Antal Esterházy had a well-appointed orchestra that performed regularly in his castle at Eisenstadt, a small  town near Vienna. As Esterházy’s music director was ailing, the prince appointed the relatively unknown Haydn to be assistant conductor in 1761. While the music director oversaw church music, Haydn conducted the orchestra and coached the singers in daily rehearsals, composed most of the music required, and served as chief of the musical personnel. Haydn’s employment by the Esterházy family proved decisive for Haydn’s career, and he remained in their service until his death.

Excerpt from Brittanica

“ … The period from 1768 to about 1774 marks Haydn’s maturity as a composer. The music written then, from the Stabat Mater (1767) to the large-scale Missa Sancti Nicolai (1772), would be sufficient to place him among the chief composers of the era. The many operas he wrote during these years did much to enhance his own reputation and that of the Esterházy court. Among his other important works from this period are the string quartets of Opus 20, the Piano Sonata in C Minor, and the symphonies in minor keys, especially the so-called Trauersymphonie in E Minor, No. 44 (“Mourning Symphony,” so named because its slow movement, which was a particular favorite of the composer, was performed at a memorial service for Haydn) and the “Farewell” Symphony, No. 45. For reasons that have no historical grounding, this has come to be known as Haydn’s Sturm-und-Drang (“storm and stress”) period, after a literary movement that came somewhat later; however inapt historically, the term does describe the character of many of these works and in fact has come to stand for the turgid style they so often exhibit …”