Christi Mutter

The authorship of the original text is still unresolved. But what is clear is the vividness, unmatched tenderness, and profound sadness of a mother watching her son die on a cross. The work features three “characters” in this epic and profoundly sad event. The first is the mother – “Christi Mutter!”  The work starts with an outburst of raw emotion as the mother stands by the cross and the sound of a hammer and nail shatter the texture. Then the second “character” is the antagonist crowd – fanatically zealous and sharply split in opinion, represented by frenetic, almost chaotic rhythmic figures. This dissolves into the third scene, or “character,” where two people – a woman from the nay-saying crowd, and soldier – who is driving the nails, see the mother’s face as she looks at her dying son. They identify with her as a parent and a fellow human being, and their “heart” changes, and they say, “O Virgin of virgins, look at me in love, so that I might feel your pain.”

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