Mother I shall weave a chain of pearls

for thy neck with my tears of sorrow.

The stars have wrought their anklets of

light to deck thy feet

but mine will hang upon thy breast…

This my sorrow is absolutely mine own

and when I bring it to thee as my offering

thou rewardest me with thy grace.

Rabindranath Tagore: from Gitanjali

There exists an old tradition of professional lamenters, who, as a service to those who grieve, digest and transfigure that grief in giving it voice. What greater faith in art can be imagined? This program of lamentations celebrates that art of cathartic expression in songs of lamentation from Purcell and d’India through Bartok and Carter, evincing strength and vulnerability in equal measure, through the intimacy and immediacy of the string quartet.


Purcell: Dido’s Lament arranged for quartet
Haydn: Selections from The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross
Shostakovich: Elegy
d’India: Selected Madrigals
Carter: Elegy
Lekeu: Molto Adagio

Bartok: Quartet No.2