Orlando di Lasso (1532—1594) knew that Lagrime di San Pietro was to be the last piece he would ever compose and so he packed every measure with an emotionally charged texture that channelled all of his pain and remorse into a towering work of beauty.
21 singers transform this 75-minute sweeping a cappella Renaissance masterpiece into an overwhelmingly emotional performance piece. Set to the poetry of Luigi Tansillo (1510—1568), ‘I accept responsibility’ is the fundamental theme of this work depicting the seven stages of grief that St Peter experienced after disavowing his knowledge of Jesus Christ on the day of his arrest and prior to his crucifixion. Into his swan song, Lagrime di San Pietro, Lasso distilled all of his wisdom, experience and complexity. ‘Polyphony of this kind of depth and detail is totally sculptural’, observes director Peter Sellars. He translates Lagrime through a contemporary lens, suggesting a powerful allegory that by taking responsibility and facing our past head-on we can forge a more resolved and fulfilling future.