Tim Thurston's music choices for the week of April 6th

06 April 2020 / News
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Renowned music lecturer Tim Thurston, a favourite with dlr Library members, shares with us his music choices in the hopes that music can provide some calming reassurance and will lift our spirits during this worrying time.

For well over 1000 years some of the most wonderful music has been composed for the services of Holy Week, from Palm Sunday through the intensity of Holy (Maundy) Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil and then Easter Sunday itself.

MONDAY - THOMAS TALLIS - LAMENTATIONS OF JEREMIAH I have often said that to my mind this music is up there with late Beethoven String Quartets. I've sung it many times so I know it as it were from the inside - every time I hear it something new and wonderful emerges - my definition of a "classic".


TUESDAY - FRANCOIS COUPERIN - LECONS de TENEBRES -  A musical language so very different from the Tallis with that unique French Baroque flavour - but similar intensity.


WEDNESDAY - VICTORIA - TENEBRAE ….and no renaissance music has quite such deep intensity than that from Spain, especially Victoria - search for a new recording by The Sixteen - its been on repeat here.


THURSDAY CHANT - There are more recordings of Chant for Holy Week than any other part of the Church Year - probably the best known is Pange Lingua Gloriosi.


GOOD FRIDAY - I leave you to choose which Stabat Mater you play - that by James MacMillan is stunning, Pergolesi, Rossini, Dvorak. Do try the string quartet version of Haydn's Seven Last Words.


HOLY SATURDAY -  This is a strange sort of  "non-day". I always play my favourite Bach Cantata - Christ lag in Todesbanden - BWV4, and later the Old Roman Chant - Terra Tremuit.


EASTER SUNDAY -  Dum Transisset - especially the setting by John Taverner (the 16th century one - not the 20th) is a wonderful text about the women finding the open tomb. Then maybe some jolly Mozart - the string quintets?


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