In the Wilderness: Trois Leçons de Ténèbres, François Couperin
The Book of Lamentations tells the story of the grief of Israel after the destruction of Jerusalem. The prophet Jeremiah is thought to be the author, and in Hebrew poetry he describes the pain and loss suffered by his people when they are separated from their city and forced into exile when Jerusalem was destroyed by Babylon in 586, BC.
François Couperin’s setting of this text is intended to be sung at the service of Tenebrae, observed on Wednesday of Holy Week in the Episcopal Church. Tenebrae, meaning darkness or shadow, is a service that represents the calamity of being separated from Jesus through his death. Couperin sets the first three lessons from this service, and while Jeremiah’s text focuses on Israel’s grief at their loss of a physical connection with God, Couperin’s music foreshadows the end of the story: the restoration of Jerusalem, the triumph of Jesus, and the fulfillment of God’s promise that not even death can separate us from the love of God.
On March 27 at 6:30pm, join sopranos Chloe Boelter, Paulina Francisco, gambist Joanna Blendulf and organist Christopher Caruso-Lynch to experience Couperin’s exquisite music, and begin your Holy Week journey towards the cross and resurrection.