Lamentations and Praises

Lamentations and Praises is a liturgical drama written on 2000 and is scored for the unusual combination of male singers, flute, bass trombone,  string quintet, tape and a percussion section comprising timpani, Byzantine monastery bell, very large Tibetan bowl, very large tam tam, tubular bells and simatron (a large wooden sounding board struck with a hammer)   It is the most purely Byzantine piece that I have written, one of the most translucent , tender and the one that comes closest to the composer with whom I am so often linked, my friend and colleague Arvo Part.   Our musics seem to mystically touch each other at the entry of the chorus in Stasis III ‘Do not weep O my mother’.   The work is based both on a series of Ikons from Holy Week and the Resurrection, and on the Service of Matins of Holy Saturday.   It may be helpful for the listener to think of the work as a sequence of Ikons linked by a corridor of music.   The work consists of 13 sections or Ikons of which the first four, The Descent from the Cross, Stasis, Thrinos and Epitaphios form a pattern that is repeated three times throughout the rest of the drama.   At the various Processions the wonderful Byzantine verses are sung ‘Give me this strength…..’ Lamentations and Praises looks forward to The Veil of the Temple in so far as it is constructed in cycles.   The recorded performance by Chanticleer for whom it was written is beyond praise.


The CD:

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