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Lament for Jerusalem
Lament for Jerusalem (ABC Classics 476 160-5)
SKU: 02915
AU $27.22

Label: ABC Classics Cat. No.: 476 160-5 Medium: CD No. Discs: 1
Download View booklet Acrobat PDF file for ABC Classics CD 476 160-5 Lament for Jerusalem [245Kb]
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The music of Sir John Tavener became known to millions around the globe when his work Song for Athene was prerformed as part of the internationally televised funeral service for Diana, Princess of Wales. He was a prolific composer long before this exposure and Tavener has remained a consistent and powerfully unique voice in the world of classical music since the 1970s.

Lament for Jerusalem was commissioned specially for the Australian Youth Orchestra and in this stunning world premiere recording they are joined by Tavener's preferred interpreter of his music, the English soprano Patricia Rozario, countertenor Christopher Josey, the Sydney Philharmonia Choir and conductor Thomas Woods.

The composer writes:

"The title Lament for Jerusalem might suggest a work written for the war-torn place that contemporary Jerusalem has become, but that would be to limit and misunderstand it. For me, Jerusalem is a universal symbol which signifies the changeless and celestial synthesis of the Cosmos, and the primordial longing of man for God. The Lament is a sign, therefore, and a lament for the lost paradise that is universal. Titus Burckhardt has said that 'Sacred Art recapitulates the creation in parables, delivering the human spirit from its attachment to crude and ephemeral facts'. Thus, Lament for Jerusalem has nothing to do with the endless and despairing ugliness of the forms which permeate the ordinary life of our times, but is rather, I hope, a love song, lamenting our banishment from home, and the temporary loss of our beatific vision. So Lament for Jerusalem is a mystical love song. It is only through love that there can be a transcendent unity of all religions and all manifestations of God. I have taken texts from various traditions, and in composing, attempted to form a unity. There are three elements: the Christic in Christ's lament over Jerusalem (Matthew 23), which is sung by the chorus in the original Greek; the Judaic in Psalm 137 'By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept', the words divided between the choir and the solo soprano; and the Islamic, taken from the prologue of Maulana Jalalu-d-din Muhammad I Rumi's sublime Masnavi, which is always sung by the solo countertenor. All phenomenal existences (man included) are but 'veils' obscuring the face of the Divine Noumenon, the only real existence, and the moment His sustaining presence is withdrawn they at once relapse into their original nothingness. It is only through the love of God that the world, at an inner level, can heal itself in a civilisation of plurality and outward discord. The music of Lament for Jerusalem should be sung and played with great intensity, but at the same time with purity of heart, always reflecting the mystical, sacred and sublime nature of the texts. Also, although intensely tender, it should have a magisterial dignity, transcending any human dimension. The mysterious words of Christ, 'Eklafsen ep afteen' (He wept over her) ambiguously and consistently haunt the music of the entire lament. The structure of the Lament reflects the simplicity of a love song. The work is divided into seven Stanzas, each of which contains the Christic, Judaic and Islamic elements, as well as the cosmic dimension of the piece as a whole. Ideally it should be performed in a sacred space or other generous acoustic that will allow the music to 'breathe' in its slow, measured pace as befits a lamenting, mystical love song. The flutes, oboe and strings represent love, the brass royalty and dignity, the harp, Tibetan temple bowls and tubular bells ritual, and the voices the Logos (the Word of God) of the three traditions."

Artists: Christopher Josey (countertenor), Patricia Rozario (soprano), Sydney Philharmonia Choirs.
Composers: John Tavener.
Conductors: Thomas Woods.
Orchestras: Australian Youth Orchestra.
Tracks: JOHN TAVENER (b. 1944)
Lament for Jerusalem
a mystical love song
  1. Stanza I (By the waters of Babylon...)
  2. Stanza II (For there, they shall take us captive...)
  3. Stanza III (Oh how shall we sing the Lord's song...
  4. Stanza IV) (Let my tongue cleave to my throat...)
  5. Stanza V (Remember, oh Lord, the sons of Edom...)
  6. Stanza VI (O daughter of Babylon...)
  7. Stanza VII (Since thou receivest the supplications of sinners...)
Patricia Rozario (soprano)
Christopher Josey (countertenor)
Sydney Philharmonia Choirs
Brett Weymark (chorus master)
The Australian Youth Orchestra
Thomas Woods (conductor)
Medium: CD
No. of Discs: 1
SKU #: 02915
Label: ABC Classics
Catalog #: 476 160-5
Price: AU $27.22   

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