Lagrime di San Pietro

Lagrime di San Pietro is the final masterpiece of Renaissance composer Orlando di Lasso.  It sets 21 poems by Luigi Tansillo on the general theme of Peter’s regret at betraying Christ and his lifelong regret for that.  They also deal with the end of life when the nearness of death and the pain of living make one long for death.  There’s even one poem where Peter regrets that he, who has seen Christ raise the dead and heal the lame, can no longer remember it happening.  Unsurprisingly they were banned by the Catholic Church and so di Lasso can have had no expectation that the work, composed in the last weeks of his life would ever be performed.  Structurally the work is seven part polyphony sung a capella.  There are 20 eight line madrigals plus a motet.

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