Saturday 30 March 2024

Happy Easter: some music

Over at Sacker's blog, there's an interesting Good Friday post from 'JD': a religious procession in the Spanish town of Avilés, taking place to a somewhat syncopated drumbeat.  Somewhat disconcerting, too - take a look for yourself - in all that Inquisition garb, making the drumbeat even more sinister.  At least to Protestants like me.

It put me immediately in mind of another procession I've personally witnessed - in the oddly similarly-named Ávila‎, another Spanish town: in fact, a splendid walled city.  Their procession is in honour of St Teresa.  And the thing is, they also process to syncopated drumbeat - though not identical with the one in Sackers' post.  And no pointy hats, either.  Sadly, I haven't quickly been able to find it on youtube.

I wonder if all Spanish religious processions jive in the same manner - perhaps one of our readers knows?

Anyhow, here's some more fine Easter music - Wagner's Karfreitagszauber from Parsifal.  Not a Catholic, Wagner.


PS: the other vid from JD's post - from Pergolesi's Stabat Mater - is worth listening to, as well.  Wiki mentions that Bach picked up on it: and to my ear, there's something there that Mozart must have picked up on too, for his mighty Requiem.


dearieme said...

Easter is like Christmas: the art is to avoid horrible music. I'm thinking of Easter Parade or I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas.

djm said...

Is that the tradesmans ent6race to Berchtesgaden ?

Anonymous said...

It looks like Anton Corbijns video for "Atmosphere" by Joy Division after Ian Curtis topped himself...

Jeremy Poynton said...

Matthew Passion man myself. Seen it three times, each with Padmore as the Evangelist.

Once, at the wonderful St. George's, Brandon Hill, I was sat next to a woman who by the end was weeping here eyes out. And no wonder.

I have long held that this work alone justifies the existence of Homo sapiens. Imagine my delight when recently swimming through Iain McGilchrist's magnificent two volume magnum opus (in all senses of the phrase) that he says the same.

A book that needs to be read. And start first with his earlier work on how the Left and Right hemispheres of the brain work; "The Master and the Emissary". His hypothesis with which I agree, is that the Emissary has taken over, and is leading us into dark times.

Again, I cannot recommend these books highly enough.

Oh and by the way, Christ is risen.

Nick Drew said...

I must look up The Matter with Things - because Master / Emissary is just so good

(as noted here several years ago -

I know what you mean about the Bach. [IMHO, if Mozart hadn't written the Requiem he (M) wouldn't be a Top Ten composer ... tiptoes away ...]

Scrobs. said...

Surely not this one, Dearieme?

Elby the Beserk said...

Nick Drew said...

(as noted here several years ago -

I know what you mean about the Bach. [IMHO, if Mozart hadn't written the Requiem he (M) wouldn't be a Top Ten composer ... tiptoes away ...]

You won't regret reading "The Matter With Things".

Mozart. Yes - I think you are right, this his output is prodigious and glorious. Love the operas. Heavenly Three

God - Bach
Father - Beethoven
Son - Schubert.

We fell out with a friend a while back - his rigid Left dogma, and his statement that Bach would have written what he did without belief in God.

Which would be why he signed off all his musical scripts...

Soli Deo Gloria.

Bach had no doubt where his music came from.

Anonymous said...


If this doesn't move you to the core, nothing will.

"Erbarme dich, mein Gott" from St Matthew Passion

Peter, after denying Jesus three times.

Anonymous said...


Elby the Beserk said...

Hogging the stage....

More here...

"We’ll start in one of the most sublime and powerful corners of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion: the alto aria, Erbarme dich, mein Gott (“Have mercy Lord, My God, for the sake of my tears”). In the drama, this aria reflects Peter’s solitary heartache in the garden after he denies knowing Jesus three times. It’s set in a lilting 12/8 time, suggesting the baroque dance rhythm of the siciliano.

Aching beauty and profound sadness coexist in this music, along with a mix of other emotions which transcend description and literal meaning. The Polish poet and novelist Adam Zagajewski has called Erbarme Dich “the center and the synthesis of western music.”

The violinist Yehudi Menuhin called the aria’s lamenting solo violin obligato “the most beautiful piece of music ever written for the violin.” (You can hear Menuhin performing this aria both early and late in his career)."

dearieme said...

One of the most delightful Bach performances I've heard was played on his squeezebox by a busker at an underground station in Berlin.

Later that day we came across an excellent string quartet on the pavement outside on the big department stores: Bach again.

I was introduced to Bach by a strange mob called The Swingle Singers. He survived their idiosyncrasies very well.

Anonymous said...

The Spanish Foreign Legion in Malaga, Easter 2016, singing their (secular) anthem El Novio de la Muerte.