Zsuzsi Tóth, soprano
Filipe Faria, tenor
Sérgio Peixoto, tenor
Pedro Castro, baroque oboe, oboe da caccia and recorders
Inês Moz Caldas, recorders
Hugo Sanches, theorbo and lute
Tiago Matias, theorbo
Diana Vinagre, baroque cello
“Silêncio” by Ivan Moody (b. 1964), Andrew Smith (b. 1970) and João Madureira (b. 1971), written for and premièred by Sete Lágrimas. Commissioned by Arte das Musas in 2009. New music for the early music instruments. Six works of sacred character and in six different languages, from Latin to Russian, based on a selection of three texts of the Old and New Testament: Genesis, Lamentations and the Passion and on three texts of popular origin. A contemporary insight at the common book of the three most representative Christian religions: Orthodox, Protestant and Catholic. Three insights from Moody, Smith and Madureira, representatives of three different cultural, aesthetic and religious backgrounds.
Genesis | Christos anesti! Christ is risen! The shout of Paschal triumph, the victory of Life over Death, is the logical and ineffable consequence of the creation of the world: Creation, the Fall of Man, the Passion and Death of Christ, and the Resurrection. In the icon of the Resurrection, Christ, trampling underfoot the doors of Hades, pulls out Adam and Eve: the Second Adam fulfills that which the First Adam was unable to fulfill. | Russian Hymn | Christ, in order to be totally human, was born, just as all human beings are born. This is what this Russian folk hymn speaks about: the popular, folk, character of the celebration of Christmas is explained precisely through this very deep connection between the divine and the human, the heavenly and the earthly.
For a composer familiar with English sacred music, it is difficult to approach the task of setting the Lamentations of Jeremiah without Thomas Tallis’ famous composition coming to mind. Although my piece bears little evidence of Tallis’ influence, one device I did borrow was to set the Hebrew letters which announce each verse. This idea is partly incorporated in Lamentation I with ornamentation of the note A (Aleph), and at the middle section of Lamentation II with an ornamented figure on B flat (Beth). For Lamentation III the ornamental motif becomes the main melodic theme. Edi beo thu has an attractive, folksong-like quality which I have tried to retain in this simple setting.
Bearing witness. Inscribing music in the Text. And feeling, as part of this same act, the power of Illumination. It was this that I felt in writing the three parts of Passio. My thanks to José Manuel Pereira de Almeida and to José Tolentino de Mendonça for having helped me to understand St Luke's text. I dedicate my participation in this project to my friend Júlia. Eternally.