Saturday, 24 May 2014


“In some ways, I lament the introduction of civilisation on such a huge scale, because it has given us a lot of room to abuse each other, which we continue to do.” - RoyHarper

For Music Saturday a beautiful choral masterpiece: Thomas Tallis’ “Lamentations of Jeremiah the Prophet”. Thomas Tallis (c. 1505 - 23 November 1585) was an English composer. He flourished as a church musician in 16th century Tudor England. Tallis occupies a primary place in anthologies of English church music, and is considered among the best of England’s early composers. He is honoured for his original voice in English musicianship. No contemporary portrait of Tallis survives and the earliest, painted by Gerard van der Gucht, dates from 150 years after Tallis died, and there is no certainty that it is a likeness.

The Book of Lamentations (Hebrew: אֵיכָה, Eikhah, ʾēkhā(h), meaning ‘How’) is a collection of poetic laments for the destruction of Jerusalem. In Jewish bibles it appears in the Ketuvim (“Writings”), beside the Song of Songs, Book of Ruth, Ecclesiastes and the Book of Esther (the Megilloth or “Five Scrolls”), although there is no set order; in the Christian Old Testament it follows the Book of Jeremiah, as prophet Jeremiah is its traditional author.

Jeremiah’s authorship is no longer generally accepted; nevertheless, it is generally understood that the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 BCE forms the background to the poems. The book is partly a traditional “city lament” mourning the desertion of the city by its god, its destruction, and the ultimate return of the divinity, and partly a funeral dirge in which the bereaved bewails and addresses the dead. The tone is bleak: God does not speak, the degree of suffering is presented as undeserved, and expectations of future redemption are minimal. The text can be found here.

Hainavanker (The Haywain), is a music vocal ensemble from Tallinn, Estonia that has performed since 1988. The ensemble is named after the famous altarpiece by Hieronymus Bosch, which depicts a huge wagonload of hay rolling through a world vexed by agony and greed. From atop the haywain, angels make beautiful music to heal the misery below. Since 1988, the Hainavanker ensemble has undertaken many concert tours, including Finland, France, Germany, Poland, Scandinavia, America and Switzerland. Known for their exquisite vocal quality, amazing blends, and perfect intonation, this group embodies the qualities that delight us when we listen to the human voice soar in harmony, unaccompanied.

1 comment:

  1. This is absolutely delicious! Just what I wanted to hear right now, thanks!