Mendel Kaelen - A Secret Birth SZ002

"A Secret Birth—guess whose—is based on late nineteenth-century Swiss composer Charles Haenni’s setting of Stabat Mater, a Marian hymn which has been varied by dozens of composers down the centuries, from Palestrina to Pärt. None has refashioned it quite so drastically, however, as Dutch ambient artist Mendel Kaelen.

Kaelen has dilated Haenni’s original until it billows, causes it to surge but does not allow it to crest. The leitmotif wells up regularly though almost chimerical. Once, your ear tries to convince you that you are hearing a massed choir. In most renditions, the Stabat Mater is delivered with vaunted passion in order to fill the congregation with awe. Kaelen’s is what the inhabitants of heaven hear when the sound finally reaches them."

- Igloo Magazine


  1. Mendel Kaelen - A Secret Birth (2011, TwistedTreeLine)