Ensemble Européen de la Chapelle royale ,
Philippe Herreweghe dir.
Dominique Verkinderen, Maria-Cristina Kiehr, Gundula Anders (S), Vincent Darras, Betty van den Berghe, Kaï Wessel (A), Angus Smith, Simon Davies, Gerd Türk, Hervé Lamy (T), Renaud Machart, Peter Kooy, Stephan Schreckenberger (B).
Playing time: 74'
Recording date: March 1989;
 Harmonia Mundi "Century" HMX 290 8170 [CD] A History of Music, vol. 8: Messes et Motets de la Renaissance (1500-1600 / Renaissance Masses and Motets (1500-1600) - Musique sacrée de la Renaissance / Renaissance Sacred Music
One of the last works of the great Renaissance composer, as well as the last polyphonic setting of the Lamentations. As performed here by Herreweghe and his singers, it is suffused with religious intensity and meditative peace; and it becomes something like a cathedral, a vast, magnificent, intricate space, where one enters for prayer and meditation.
The music follows the post-Trent format for the Lamentations: three sets of three Lamentations, one set for each day (Thursday, Friday, Saturday). As usual, each verse is preceded by extended melismas on the Hebrew letters which number them, and to which Lasso devotes enormous attention. In some instances, the melismas last almost as long as the verse itself. They are not really sung as melismas, but as long echoes of a motif ranging up and down the register of the choir. The "gimel" in the 8th lecture lasts over a minute and a half...
The verses, encased by the melismas like stained-glass windows by pillars, are smoothly flowing and well-articulated. The text of Jeremiah, clearly heard through the polyphony (following Trentine guidelines), serves as a guide for the soul as it wanders. The music does not try to express the text so much as exposit it, in the most gorgeous and serene way possible, and let the listener do the rest.François Velde
Other programs including Lassus' Lamentations:
And two similar cycles:
To purchasing information for this disc.
To FAQ references to this recording.
To FAQ CD index page.Todd M. McComb