Laments for Passiontide

Medium laments duo

Saturday 5 March, 7.30 pm

St John’s Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London NW3 1NU

The lament became an established musical genre and in this concert we present examples of this expressive form over two centuries, from Italy and Austria. Perhaps the first example of the musical lament was Monteverdi’s ‘Lamento d’Arianna’: a five-part madrigal, performed here with soprano and strings and continuo. Monteverdi later adapted the piece for a sacred text: his ‘Pianto della Madonna’. Haydn reworked his ‘Arianna a Naxos’ aria as a Marian lament, ‘Maria quaerit Christum filium’, for soprano and string quartet. In addition we perform passionate works by Monteverdi’s near-contemporary Merula, by Schmelzer (who worked in Vienna) and by Vivaldi (at whose funeral in Vienna Haydn might have sung).

The music

Johann Heinrich Schmelzer (1620–80): Sonata (lamento) à 3

Tarquinio Merula (1595–1665): Canzonetta Spirituale sopra alla nanna

Johann Heinrich Schmelzer: Lamento sopra la morte Ferdinandi III

Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643): Lamento d’Arianna, SV 107

Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741): Sinfonia al Santo Sepolcro, RV169

Joseph Haydn (1732–1809): Maria quaerit Christum filium

The musicians

Rachel Elliott soprano, Nicolette Moonen, violin, Anne Schumann violin, Rachel Stott viola, Luise Buchberger cello, Silas Wollston harpsichord