Tenebrae at a [social] distance
Tenebrae for String Quartet Osvaldo Golijov
Daniel Sender, violin
Allison Hall, violin
Danielle Wiebe Burke, viola
Schuyler Slack, cello
Recorded by Jordan Burke at Fidelis Farm
Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov wrote Tenebrae after taking his son to the New York planetarium and witnessing him see a picture of the world from space for the first time - a tiny, blue dot in the midst of darkness. The piece is framed by two sections, both titled "Yerushalem", which seem so fitting and prayerful both during this pandemic but also, more importantly, in the context of the Easter season. The piece ties the enormity of our world together in just under fifteen minutes, by imitating Arabic prayer, frogs chirping in the rainforest, and featuring a shapeless, vast cello solo that, in its breadth, evokes the vastness of the universe and the smallness of our place within it. Jordan and I were so moved by the musicians' willingness to play together in this odd configuration - six feet apart, wearing masks, and with no pay - and are so happy to share it with you all.