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Highly Opinionated

Why Classical Music is Important--The Lamentations of Jeremiah

By Published: November 3, 2003

The remaining three composers are from mainland Europe and were also contemporaries of White and Tallis. Italian Giovanni Palestrina (1525-1594) and Franco Flemish Orlande de Lassus (1532-1594) wrote complete sets of the Lamentations for all three Holy Days. These settings are more Catholic and conservative than the Reformation-minded White and Tallis versions. While polyphonic, the harmonics lack the daring and ornateness of the English settings while still being sublime. Even sparer are the settings of Est궡o de Brito. De Brito employed dissonance in his composition, a practice frowned upon by Renaissance (read the roman Catholic Church) Music theorists at the time.

Lamentations—White Tallis, Palestrina, Lassus, de Brito provides a smattering of settings to whet the interest of listeners. There exist many other interpretations of these and other composers work worthy of the listeners' attention. This is pristine, crystalline choral music that wisely predicts the coming Classical period.

For more information, see Naxos Records and The Oxford Camerata .

White "Lamentations (for Five Voices)"; Tallis "Lamentations (First Set)"; Tallis "Lamentations (Second Set)"; Palestrina "Lesson I for Maundy Thursday"; Lassus "Lesson I for Maundy Thursday"; Lassus "Lesson III for Maundy Thursday"; de Brito Lesson I for Good Friday.

Oxford Camerata, Jeremy Summerly, Conductor.

This and all pieces published in December 2003 are dedicated to my late Father, Norman L. Bailey (1915—2003).

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