Maundy Thursday 2007

Music and words for Maundy Thursday in the Reformed Church in Hinwil

Modern composers have not neglected Holy Week as a source of inspiration for creating moving music. In “quatre motets pour un temps de pénitence”, Francis Poulenc produced one of his most outstanding sacred works, full of fascinating sounds and effects, seldom heard here in Switzerland.

Francesco Saverio Pedrini, born in Italy in 1973, based his organ fantasia on the Gregorian chant “terra tremuit” (offertorium for Easter Sunday) and thus built a particularly exciting bridge between our time and the middle ages.

Guy Bovet, a Swiss organist and composer born in 1942, is well known around the world for his skilled interpretation on the organ. He wrote the meditative and calm piece “Ricercare” for his own instrument.

The programme is rounded off with two outstanding works from the 16th century. The composer Orlando di Lasso who lived in what is today known as Belgium was a renaissance genius – witty, innovative and far ahead of his time. His six voice motet “timor et tremor” for unaccompanied choir is one of the best-known works from that period, and was also inspiration for Poulenc’s first motet.

The Dutchman Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck was not only a notable organist of the renaissance and early baroque periods, but was also a prolific composer. One of his well-known organ works was the variation on the German folksong “Mein junges Leben hat ein End”.

The music is linked together by meditative texts on Holy Week and Easter themes read by Rolf Diezi.


organ Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562 − 1621) Six variations on “Mein junges Leben hat ein End”
a capella choir Orlando di Lasso (1532 – 1594)
Timor et tremor Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me
solo voice Terra Tremuit (plain chant)
organ Francesco Saverio Pedrini (*1973) Fantasia super Terra Tremuit
a capella choir Francis Poulenc (1899 − 1963) Quatre motets pour un temps de pénitence
Timor et tremor Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me
Vinea mea electa O my noble vine, I did plant thee
Tenebræ factæ sunt Darkness came over the land
Tristis est anima mea My soul is exceeding sorrowful
organ Guy Bovet (*1942) Ricercare


This musicmakers production took place on 5th April 2007 at 20:00 in the Reformed Church in Hinwil:

  • The MP3 files on this page were recorded live in the Reformed Church Hinwil on 5th April 2007 © musicmakers (owing to a problem with the recording machine during the concert, the fourth Poulenc motet recording was made during the dress rehearsal and the Bovet separately on 12th April 2007)
  • “Zürcher Oberländer” newspaper report
  • Programme