J. S. Bach
Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 4
Versus I: “Christ lag in Todesbanden

Münchener Bach Chor und Orchester
Karl Richter

Holy Week spam continues with “Tristis est anima mea” by Poulenc. Poulenc was an interesting person who was supposedly torn between religious faith and more um, worldly interests? ANYWAY, his music seems to be divided between those two things. He wrote an opera about nuns who become martyrs, and an opera about a woman who gives up her breasts to become a man, if that gives you any idea of what we’re working with here. He was a giant weirdo. 

This piece is one falls on the religious side of Poulenc’s works. It’s one of four Lenten motets. It’s particularly appropriate for Maundy/Holy Thursday, aka the day of the Last Supper. The text is taken from the point in the New Testament when Jesus goes to pray in the garden of Gethsemane, and instructs his disciples to keep watch with him: 

Tristis est anima mea, usque ad mortem: 

Sustinete hic, et vigilate mecum:

Nunc videbetis turbam, quae circondabit me:

Vos fugam capietis, et ego vadam immolari pro vobis.

Ecce appropinquat hora, et Filius hominis

tradetur in manus peccatorum.

My soul is sorrowful even unto death: 

Wait here and keep watch with me: 

Now you shall see the crowd that will surround me: 

You shall flee, and I shall go to be sacrificed for you. 

Behold, the hour has come when the Son of man

will be delivered into the hands of sinners. 

I think that what makes this piece great is how sharply Poulenc illustrates the text particularly on the line “vos fugam capietis.” And a huge round of applause for this choir, because this piece is really, REALLY HARD. 

blodwymm replied to your post “tornamiadir replied to your video “Since it’s Holy Week, it’s time for…”

I always liked Lent better than Advent or Pentecost (and I was the Pentecost girl for YEARS), but damn if Holy Week doesn’t try to take you down along with Jesus.

True, but Easter anthems are all so blah. I’m struggling to think of one to post for Easter. 

More Holy Week spam! 

This was a new piece for me this year: Purcell’s “Hear my prayer, O Lord.” I love the many, many moments of dissonance in this piece, as well as the chromatic motif on the word” crying. It’s almost painful, but it hurts so good. Basically, Purcell was a genius. 

tornamiadir replied to your video “Since it’s Holy Week, it’s time for some *~depressing Lenten hits~* …”

Depressing Lenten Hits would be a great band name

Oh man let’s start this band RIGHT NOW. 

Since it’s Holy Week, it’s time for some *~depressing Lenten hits~*

All jokes aside, Casal’s setting of a section of Lamentations of Jeremiah is one of my favorite choral pieces of all time. Casals really knew how to write for the voice, and he gives each section and part a moment to shine. It’s a truly devastating setting of the text: 

O vos omnes, qui transitis per viam, 

Attendite, et videte si est dolor similis sicut dolor meus.

"O you people, who pass by on the road, 

Behold and see if there is any sorrow like unto my sorrow.”

vintageglamour asked: Do you ever wish you had a different kind of voice or are you happy with the flexibility of what you can do with a lyric soprano voice?

Well, I’m not really a lyric soprano. I’d say I’m somewhere in the range of lyric coloratura. Anyway I just call myself a coloratura because I’d rather keep things simple. :)

I suppose it might be fun to have a different kind of voice. Sometimes I think about what it would be like to sing different roles or songs. But in the end I like the repertoire I sing. If I found I had to start singing radically different rep I would actually be a bit upset!

Anonymous asked: How old are you?

I’m 29, anonymous weirdo. Why do you ask?


Thomas Hampson - How Not to Fail At Opera 

This changed my entire view of a lot of things. Omg. 

I unexpectedly loved this video, in particular the first section. Be prepared for what you will be asked to do! That’s some good advice.

A happy resident of the land above high C.


view archive

Upcoming Performances


These are a few of my favorite tags

Ask me anything