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As part of the BBC’s year-long season of Belief, Lucie Skeaping looks at the way composers have treated the Tenebrae services held during the last three days of Holy Week. With music by Gesualdo, Victoria, Tallis, Byrd, Lobo and Couperin.

59 minutes

Music Played

  • Thomas Tallis

    Lamentations of Jeremiah, Part I

    Ensemble: Chapelle du Roi.
  • Tomás Luis de Victoria

    O vos omnes

    Choir: Stile Antico.
  • Carlo Gesualdo

    Tristis est anima mea [Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday]

    Ensemble: The Hilliard Ensemble.
    • ECM.
  • Alonso Lobo

    Lamentations Ieremiae Prophetae (excerpt)

    Ensemble: Collegium Vocale Gent. Conductor: Philippe Herreweghe.
    • PHI.
  • Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla

    Lamentations for Maundy Thursday

    Ensemble: Tallis Scholars. Conductor: Peter Phillips.
    • GIMELL.
  • William Byrd


    Choir: Choir of New College Oxford. Conductor: Edward Higginbottom.
  • François Couperin

    Lecons de Tenebres (Troisieme lecon) (excerpt)

    Singer: Marianne Beate Kielland. Ensemble: King's Consort. Singer: Carolyn Sampson.
    • VIVAT.