Music for a Quiet Lent: Tuesday, April 7

Once again, I am abandoning the Lectionary, but I am, at least, progressing sequentially through the Passion story, or at least following Jesus’ journey to the Cross in a somewhat orderly fashion.

Today’s piece is by Mendelssohn, and is called Ihr Töchter Zions (Daughters of Zion), and takes its text from Jesus’ words to the women of Jerusalem on the way to the Cross:

Daughters of Zion, weep for yourselves and your children, For surely the days are coming, when they shall exclaim to the mountains: Fall down on us, and to the hills: Hide us!

(I apologise, incidentally, for all the German this week – it turns out that all my favourite Holy Week music, even the pieces I know in English, are by German composers and are thus generally available in German. I did, however, want to give you a break from endless Baroque, and this, while still German, is decidedly on the Romantic end of the musical spectrum.)

I love the sweetness of the soprano voices at the start, and the drama in the middle, and the sense of sadness and wistfulness throughout – to me, the mood conveyed is not so much that of hearing the words when they were first spoken, but more like someone remembering hearing those words years later, after the fall of Jerusalem.

And having written all that, now I’m feeling rather sad and wistful myself. Today feels like a good day to pray for peace.

Go to the Music for a Quiet Lent index page.

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