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Peter-Anthony Togni
Lamentatio Jeremiae Prophetae

Jeff Reilly bass clarinet
Elmer Iseler Singers
Rebecca Whelan soprano
Lydia Adams conductor
 
Lamentatio Jeremiae Prophetae (2007)
Concerto for bass clarinet and choir on texts from “The Book of Lamentations”

Quomodo Sedet Sola Civitas
How doth the city sit solitary

Quomodo Dominus Filiam Sion Obtexit
How hath the lord covered with obscurity the daughter of zion

Silentio
Silence

Quomodo Obscuratum Est Aurum
How is the gold become dim

Recordare, Domine
Remember, o Lord

Recorded October 2008

ECM New Series 2129
 
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Contemporary music that bridges sacred vocal composition and expressive improvisational gestures: “Lamentatio Jeremiae Prophetae” by Canadian composer Peter-Anthony Togni (born 1959) is a 55-minute setting of The Old Testament prophet’s lamentations for solo bass clarinet, mixed choir a cappella and solo soprano. The piece was commissioned from the Canada Council for the Arts as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations and was given its premiere by the performers heard on this CD in 2007. Togni’s idea originated in a request from bass clarinet player Jeff Reilly for a concerto in which dramatic narrative events would be enacted through the soloist’s improvisations. In fact, the piece which, according to the composer, “is a direct expression of my Roman Catholic faith” conveys the story of Jeremiah’s prophesies of the impending destruction of Jerusalem from the hands of the Babylonians with the choir providing the crowd scenes and the bass clarinet as the voice of Jeremiah.

Peter-Anthony Togni studied organ and composition in his native Canada and at the Schola Catorum in Paris. He is a co-founder of the group ‘Sanctuary’, an improvisation-based trio of bass clarinet, organ and cello and has received numerous commissions in various genres. Bass clarinet virtuoso Jeff Reilly has considerably expanded the technical range of his instrument; he has played, among others, with musicians such as Jerry Granelli and the duo of bassist Barry Guy and violinist Maya Homburger.