The traditional text of the Seven Last Words from the Cross is based on a compilation from all four gospels to form a sequential presentation of the last seven sentences uttered by Christ. The life that I held dear I delivered into the hands of the unrighteous and my inheritance has become for me like a lion in the forest. They placed me in a wasteland of desolation, and all the earth mourned for me. For there was no one who would acknowledge me or give me help. Why?
- Root - The Book rose up against me and spared not my Sandy vs Dhany - Break The Wall. The work begins with a cadential figure from the end of Anything Goes - Guns N Roses - Appetite For Destruction clarinet quintet Tuireadh lamentrepeated over and over, upon which the rest of the music gradually builds.
Finally, another idea unfolds — a plainsong monotone with the words from one of the Good Friday Responsaries for Tenebrae. The choir and ensemble operate according to different procedures — the choir repeating the words Woman, Behold Thy Son to a shifting three bar phrase, the strings becoming gradually more frantic as the music evolves. They both give way to an exhausted Behold, Thy Son. During the liturgy this is normally sung three times, each time at a higher pitch as the cross is slowly unveiled and revealed to the people.
Here also the music begins with two basses, rises with the tenors and then again with two altos. A high violin solo features throughout. Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani St. Matthew and St. Luke My God, My God, why have you forsaken me. The music rises tortuously from low to high before the choir deliver an impassioned, full-throated lament above which the strings float and glide.
The movement eventually subsides through a downward canonic motion to end as it began. I gave you to drink of life-giving water from the rock: and you gave me to drink of gall and vinegar. The two words I thirst are set to a static and slow-moving harmonic procedure which Cutting Branches For A Temporary Shelter - Penguin Cafe Orchestra - When In Rome. deliberately bare and desolate.
The interpolated text from the Good Friday Reproaches is heard whispered and distantly chanted. My eyes were blind with weeping, For he that consoled me is far from me: Consider all you people, is there any sorrow like my sorrow? All you who pass along this way take heed and consider if there I Thirst - James MacMillan - Seven Last Words From The Cross any sorrow like mine. The movement begins with hammer-blows which subside and out of which grows quiet choral material which is largely unaccompanied throughout.
The three words act as a background for a more prominent text taken from the Good Friday Responsaries. The first word is exclaimed in anguish three times before the music descends in resignation. The choir has finished — the work is subsequently completed by strings alone. On setting such texts it is vital to maintain some emotional objectivity in order to control musical expression in the way that the Good Friday liturgy is a realistic containment of grief.
Nevertheless it is inspiring when one witnesses people weep real tears on Good Friday as if the death of Christ was a personal tragedy. In this final movement, with its long instrumental postlude, the liturgical detachment breaks down and gives way to a more personal reflection: hence the resonance here of Scottish traditional lament music. Reproduction Rights This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to the composer.
Both the vocal and instrumental parts draw on characteristic models: Lutheran baroque techniques for the chorus, and the sophisticated British and Polish 20th century traditions of writing for the string orchestra.
The traditional text of the Seven Last Words from the Cross is based on a compilation from all four gospels to form a sequential presentation of the last seven sentences uttered by Christ in English and Latin.
One of the great features of this work is the way MacMillan uses silence — and the effect it creates is as powerful as symphony orchestras of I Thirst - James MacMillan - Seven Last Words From The Cross.
How few composers know about silence, and how afraid of it we are in contemporary society. There are so many extraordinary and powerful effects in this work that it is invidious to single any out, but the final sighs from the violins I Thirst - James MacMillan - Seven Last Words From The Cross the end of the orchestral postlude with which the work ends actually bring to life the last breaths of the dying Christ.
It is mesmerizing and deeply, deeply moving. The plain-speaking but increasingly dissonant chordal outbursts at the start of the second movement are juxtaposed with huge balancing passages of silence. This work is well within the reach of good choral groups and it should be taken up widely. Conductors are urged to look carefully at this work.
A few seconds, in difficult times, when meditation was centre stage, when it was possible to regain optimism. More on this Composer. My Account. Currency Converter. Search the Shop. Music Text. Abbreviations PDF Territory. Subscribe to our email newsletters.
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