Author Topic: Lamentations  (Read 3584 times)

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Offline San Antonio

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Lamentations
« on: March 25, 2015, 10:56:00 AM »
The Lamentations of Jeremiah has been set for vocal ensemble over the centuries countless times.  This thread will be where members can post their favorite versions and especially works that may be lesser known or in some manner unique.

A related group of works, Tenebrae, sung during Easter Week can also be posted.

Lamentations is known to Jews as Eicha which is usually translated as “O how has” which is a cry of shock and grief.  Eicha is chanted every year on Tisha b’Av (the 9th of the Jewish month of Av) commemorating the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash (Temple in Jerusalem). 

There have been at least two fairly well known settings by Jewish composers, Ernst Krenek’s Lamentatio Jeremić Prophetć (in Latin) and the 3rd movement of Leonard Bernstein’s Jeremiah Symphony (In Hebrew).

I hope to discover many more versions through your suggestions.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Lamentations
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2015, 11:06:43 AM »
There is Threni, of course . . . it's one of the odd casualties of the Naxos re-issue practice that Robt Craft's wonderful recording originally on Koch is not presently available.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Lamentations
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2015, 11:09:23 AM »
The Ginastera is lovely, if quite brief.

Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline San Antonio

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Re: Lamentations
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2015, 11:11:22 AM »
There is Threni, of course . . . it's one of the odd casualties of the Naxos re-issue practice that Robt Craft's wonderful recording originally on Koch is not presently available.

Wonderful late work.  Compared to most of his other works, this one does not seem to receive many recordings.  At least that is my impression.

Offline San Antonio

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Re: Lamentations
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2015, 11:12:23 AM »
The Ginastera is lovely, if quite brief.



This one I have not heard, but have heard of.  I will look for it on Spotify, if available there, and listen soon.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Lamentations
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2015, 11:14:29 AM »
Wonderful late work.  Compared to most of his other works, this one does not seem to receive many recordings.  At least that is my impression.

I only know of two, this one, and Igor's own.  It is a wonderful piece, and deserves better.  OTOH, Igor Fyodorovich is splendidly well represented in recordings, so . . . .

This one I have not heard, but have heard of.  I will look for it on Spotify, if available there, and listen soon.

Tangentially, the Schnittke is a fabulous work, too.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Brewski

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Re: Lamentations
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2015, 11:20:33 AM »
Though I am not familiar with many Lamentations settings, the Krenek is an austere, fantastic piece. I've been lucky to hear it live - which may never happen again, since it's extremely difficult to perform.

Will be interested in comments on works by other composers.

--Bruce
Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.
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Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline San Antonio

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Re: Lamentations
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2015, 11:27:10 AM »
There are many from the 16th century, Victoria, Gesualdo, and possibly most famous of all, Thomas Tallis

Any preferred recordings?  The Tallis Scholars I think have done all three; their recording of the Tallis work is generally thought highly of.

Offline JCBuckley

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Re: Lamentations
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2015, 11:48:25 AM »
I strongly recommend this:


Drasko

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Re: Lamentations
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2015, 11:56:02 AM »
Lecons de tenebres, Holly Week settings of Lamentationes of Jeremiah, were very popular in French baroque. Most often they were intimate chamber settings for few voices and basso continuo (but still with very virtuosic vocal writing) and best known (rightly) are by Delalande, Francois Couperin and Charpentier. There is one other I'd like to mention, bit different stylistically set for larger forces (but still intimate sounding), with simpler less florid vocal writing by Jean Gilles. Perhaps showing differences in taste and influences between province (Gilles) and capital (others). There was a lovely recording of Gilles by Herve Niquet/Le Concert Spirituel on Accord, not sure if it's still in print.   
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 11:57:37 AM by Draško »

Offline San Antonio

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Re: Lamentations
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2015, 11:58:06 AM »
Though I am not familiar with many Lamentations settings, the Krenek is an austere, fantastic piece. I've been lucky to hear it live - which may never happen again, since it's extremely difficult to perform.

Will be interested in comments on works by other composers.

--Bruce

Interesting that the two composers we've focused on so far have been Stravinsky and Krenek

When Stravinsky was looking around for information about serial/12-tone composing, one source he used more than others was Krenek's little book, Studies in Counterpoint.  Stravinsky was impressed with a technique Krenek used (mainly in the Lamentations) of rotating a the two hexachords of a series (61,52,43) and transposing the starting note to the same pitch degree.

For example if the first six notes of the series were C-D-E-F-G-A, the rotations would be

a-c-g-d-f-e
e-a-f-c-d-g
g-e-d-a-c-f
f-g-c-e-a-d
d-f-a-g-e-c

Bringing us back to where we started with
c-d-e-f-g-a

I am not sure if Stravinsky used this kind of thing in Threni, but he was influenced by Krenek's work, which was published shortly before Threni was begun.

Offline San Antonio

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Re: Lamentations
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2015, 12:01:54 PM »
I strongly recommend this:

I have recently been listening to this one:



Which is very fine, but I haven't heard the one you suggested.  It would be nice to find it though.

Offline San Antonio

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Re: Lamentations
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2015, 12:06:49 PM »
Lecons de tenebres, Holly Week settings of Lamentationes of Jeremiah, were very popular in French baroque. Most often they were intimate chamber settings for few voices and basso continuo (but still with very virtuosic vocal writing) and best known (rightly) are by Delalande, Francois Couperin and Charpentier. There is one other I'd like to mention, bit different stylistically set for larger forces (but still intimate sounding), with simpler less florid vocal writing by Jean Gilles. Perhaps showing differences in taste and influences between province (Gilles) and capital (others). There was a lovely recording of Gilles by Herve Niquet/Le Concert Spirituel on Accord, not sure if it's still in print.

I have not heard the Jean Gilles work.  Is this the one you were thinking of?



Over $60.00 at Amazon, so I will remain ignorant of it for the time being.

 ;)

Drasko

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Re: Lamentations
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2015, 12:15:13 PM »
I have not heard the Jean Gilles work.  Is this the one you were thinking of?

That's the one, but there is later re-issue that might be cheaper to find. This one:
http://www.amazon.de/Motets-Saint-Baptiste-Trois-Lamentations/dp/B00004XT1J

Also, Delalande disc JCBuckley mentioned exist as readily available reissue:
http://www.amazon.com/Lecons-Tenebres-M-Lalande/dp/B000NQDE86

Offline San Antonio

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Re: Lamentations
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2015, 12:22:42 PM »
That's the one, but there is later re-issue that might be cheaper to find. This one:
http://www.amazon.de/Motets-Saint-Baptiste-Trois-Lamentations/dp/B00004XT1J

Also, Delalande disc JCBuckley mentioned exist as readily available reissue:
http://www.amazon.com/Lecons-Tenebres-M-Lalande/dp/B000NQDE86

Thanks!

Offline EigenUser

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Re: Lamentations
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2015, 02:59:21 PM »
Interesting that the two composers we've focused on so far have been Stravinsky and Krenek

When Stravinsky was looking around for information about serial/12-tone composing, one source he used more than others was Krenek's little book, Studies in Counterpoint.  Stravinsky was impressed with a technique Krenek used (mainly in the Lamentations) of rotating a the two hexachords of a series (61,52,43) and transposing the starting note to the same pitch degree.

For example if the first six notes of the series were C-D-E-F-G-A, the rotations would be

a-c-g-d-f-e
e-a-f-c-d-g
g-e-d-a-c-f
f-g-c-e-a-d
d-f-a-g-e-c

Bringing us back to where we started with
c-d-e-f-g-a

I am not sure if Stravinsky used this kind of thing in Threni, but he was influenced by Krenek's work, which was published shortly before Threni was begun.

Not really related to the thread, but this is what Boulez did in the 12 Notations (hence the reason that there are 12 pieces -- he uses a full 12-tone row and permutes them as you describe).
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

Offline San Antonio

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Re: Lamentations
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2015, 06:24:44 PM »
Vladimir Martynov's Lamentations of Jeremiah are an expression of despair over the destruction of Jerusalem, and presents a prayer of hope, the hope that despair will lead to construction and creation. The work was written for the Sirin Choir, conducted by Andrei Kotov, whose interpretation we hear on this recording.



Vladimir Martynov is also known as a serious ethnomusicologist, specializing in the music of the Caucasian peoples, Tajikistan, and other ethnic groups in Russia. He also studied medieval Russian and European music, as well as religious musical history and musicology. While even in Soviet times this field of study was considered generally acceptable, it also allowed him to study theology, religious philosophy and history. Vladimir Martynov began studying early Russian religious chant in the late 1970s; he also studied Renaissance music of such composers as Machaut, Gabrieli, Isaac, Dufay, and Dunstable, publishing editions of their music. He became interested in the brand of minimalism developing in the Soviet Union in the late 1970s: a static, spiritually-inspired style without the shimmering pulse of American minimalism. The timeless quality of chants and the lack of a sense of bar lines in Renaissance polyphony entered into his version of minimalism.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Lamentations
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2015, 04:44:48 AM »
Last night, and at last, I began to spend time with the de Victoria Lamentations (years ago, I had had the St Paul's Choir sing his lovely Pueri Hebrćorum).  I see this CD in the set as saturation listening for the coming week.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline San Antonio

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Re: Lamentations
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2015, 04:54:04 AM »
Last night, and at last, I began to spend time with the de Victoria Lamentations (years ago, I had had the St Paul's Choir sing his lovely Pueri Hebrćorum).  I see this CD in the set as saturation listening for the coming week.

Is it the St. Paul's Choir recording or another?

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Lamentations
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2015, 04:55:21 AM »
Oh!  It's from the Ensemble Plus Ultra box:

Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

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