Thursday Lamentations | Harper's Magazine

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Thursday Lamentations

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“One evening I went to a concert, hoping against hope that the music might revive me; but it did not work, the whole concert bored me—until the last piece was played. It was a piece I had never heard before, by a composer I had never heard of, The Lamentations of Jeremiah by Jan Dismas Zelenka… Suddenly as I listened, I found my eyes wet with tears. My emotions, frozen for months, were flowing once again. Zelenka’s Lamentations had broken the dam, letting feeling flow where it had been obstructed, immobilized inside me.”

Oliver Sacks, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain pp. 325-26 (2009) and read my interview with Sacks here

Listen to the Lamentationes Jeremiae Prophetae of Jan Dismas Zelenka, ZWV 53 (1722), composed for performance on Maundy Thursday:

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