TENEbrae series

In 2012, TENET began a series titled TENEbrae to honor the rich and dark repertoire composed for Holy Week throughout Renaissance and Baroque Europe.  Named for the haunting service marked by the extinguising of candels during Holy Week, TENEbrae can be a powerful time that marks a transition from darkness to light during the year. The inaugural performance featured François Couperin's famous Leçons de Ténèbres pour Mercredi as a tribute to Montserrat Figueras in a performance deemed "soulful" and "elegant" by the New York Times.

TENEbrae expanded in 2013 to include weekly offerings throughout Lent in a series that was co-presented by TENET and Trinity Wall Street.  The 2013 series opened with a performance of Dietrich Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri. Though not strictly part of the traditional tenebrae service, the seventeenth-century master’s mesmerizing set of seven meditations on the wounded parts of Christ’s crucified body is hauntingly beautiful. Settings of the Lamentations of Jeremiah by three Renaissance masters Thomas Tallis, Tomás Luis de Victoria and Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday by Carlo Gesualdo created stark chiaroscuro affects throughout the series. The gentle lyricism and expressive vocal writing of French Baroque masters François Couperin and Marc-Antoine Charpentier made their Leçons de Ténèbres particularly moving.

TENEbrae returned in 2014 with five weekly performances at St. Ignatius of Antioch, TENET's resident church. The 2013 series was marked by extensive collaborations with highly acclaimed ensembles including Antioch Chamber Ensemble, The Sebastians, Nota Bene viol consort, and a spectacular lineup of artists in the following programs: Robert White’s Lamentations of Jeremiah, François Couperin’s Leçons de Ténèbres, Heinrich Biber’s Mystery Sonatas, Carlo Gesualdo’s Tenebrae Responsories for Good Friday, and Samuel Capricornus’s Zwei Lieder von dem Leyden und Tode Jesu.

In 2015, we will offer one special event to close our series of Lenten offerings: Carlo Gesualdo’s Tenebrae Responsories for Holy Saturday in a completion of our three year cycle to perform all of Gesualdo's tenebrae responsories. We hope you will join us for this final event in what has been a tremendous experience for performers and audience alike.

Tickets for TENEbrae 2015: Carlo Gesualdo's Tenebrae Responsories for Holy Saturday are available here!

Gesualdo's Tenebrae Responsory Videos:

2013 - Gesualdo's Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday (view here)
2014 - Gesualdo's Tenebrae Responsories for Good Friday (view here)


Mon, Apr 8, 2013

 | The New Yorker | Alex Ross

Singing Shadows

In February and March, during the six weeks of Lent, the vocal ensemble tenet presented a series called “tenebrae,” given over mainly to Renaissance and Baroque settings of...

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Tue, Feb 19, 2013

 | The New York Times | Zachary Woolfe

As the Cantatas Unfurl, a Reprieve Is Affirmed

Jolle Greenleaf, the artistic director of Tenet and a soprano who can both float and focus, led an excellent group of singers that featured the soprano Molly Quinn, the alto...

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Sun, Mar 11, 2012

 | The New York Times | Vivien Schweitzer

French Baroque Rays of Light Pierce Lenten Shadows

The theorbo player Hank Heijink and the gamba player Sarah Cunningham offered soulful, elegantly wrought interpretations of three selections from Marais’s Pièces de Viole, Book 5, ...

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