Concert

RIAS Kammerchor Berlin, Kammerakademie Potsdam

Justin Doyle, conductor
Gabrieli | Gesualdo | Stravinsky

Justin Doyle, director of the RIAS Kammerchor, places the “Lamentiones” – the lamentations of the prophet Jeremiah – at the center of the concert performed in collaboration with the Kammerakademie Potsdam. Various settings of the impressive text from the Old Testament will be heard – by the great masters of the Renaissance as well as Igor Stravinsky’s version in “Threni”.

Poster announcing the premiere of Igor Stravinsky's “Threni” on 23 September 1958 at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice

Poster announcing the premiere of Igor Stravinsky's “Threni” on 23 September 1958 at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice

Past Dates

Programme booklet RIAS Kammerchor Berlin, Kammerphilharmonie Potsdam 15.09.2021 PDF, 2.9 MB

Concerts online
Live stream of the concert in the Digital Concert Hall,
available 15 September 2021, 21:00
Recording of the concert at Musikfest Berlin on Demand,
available 16 September 2021, 16:00 – 26 September 2021, 16:00

The “Lamentations” of the prophet Jeremiah are among the most impressive passages of the Old Testament. By means of poignant words and metaphors, they express the Israelites’ anguish over the loss of Jerusalem following the conquest by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in the 6th century B.C. The historical impact of these “Lamentations” is remarkable: In the Jewish tradition, the verses were associated with the repeated destruction of the temple by the Roman general Titus in 70 A.D. Christianity, on the other hand, dedicated the “Lamentations” to the suffering and death of Jesus Christ and assigned them a permanent place in the Liturgy of the Hours during Holy Week. From the 15th century onwards, an almost unimaginable number of composers from various epochs have adapted the powerful texts into polyphonic settings. In its concert at the Musikfest Berlin, the RIAS Chamber Choir under the direction of its principal conductor Justin Doyle will present excerpts from Lamentations settings of the Renaissance period by the English composers Thomas Tallis and William Byrd as well as by the Roman Kapellmeister Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. In contrast, the Kammerakademie Potsdam will perform “Threni”, Igor Stravinsky’s creative exploration of the biblical laments, which he wrote for soloists, choir and orchestra in 1957/58. At a remove from immediate liturgical context, Stravinsky's “Threni” are an exceptional example of affecting sacred music performed in a concert setting.

Concert Programme

Giovanni Gabrieli (1554/1557 – 1612)
Canzone e sonate (1615)
for different instruments with organ

William Byrd (1543 – 1623), Thomas Tallis (1503 – 1585), Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525 – 1594)
Lamentationes Jeremiae Prophetae
Excerpts from the vocal works

Don Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa (1560 – 1613)
Aestimatus sum (1611)
from: Tenebrae responsories for the Holy Saturday

Igor Stravinsky (1882 – 1971)
Threni: id est lamentationes Jeremiae Prophetae (1957/58)
for soloists, choir and orchestra
Alessandro Piovesan in memoriam

The concerts dedicated to Igor Stravinsky and Carlo Gesualdo on 31 August, 6, 8, 13 and 15 September are funded by means of the Capital City Cultural Fund and the Aventis Foundation.


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A Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin event in cooperation with the RIAS Kammerchor Berlin