Unlike the works Karol Szymanowski composed during the first two decades of the 20th century, his Stabat Mater could only have been written in a country with Slavic culture. Drawing on his musical roots and mother tongue, he wrote a transparent score for soloists, mixed choir and orchestra. It is all fascinatingly simple. The melodies consist of minor and major seconds and thirds and the pace of most movements is slow; only the second movement has a rhythm and melody that seem to pre-empt Orff’s Carmina Burana. It is a unique masterpiece of oratorio.