The setting of "When David Heard" by Thomas Tomkins, the English Renaissance composer, is viewed as "one of the supreme examples of late Renaissance composition."[1] Taking as its text the Biblical account, in 2 Samuel 18:33, of David's sorrow on hearing of the slaughter of his rebellious son Absalom, the work, written for five part male chorus, is in two parts. The first provides the narrative of David's retreat to his chamber, the second an extended meditation on the words of David: "O my son Absalom, would to God I had died for thee."

Virginia Glee Club performances[edit | edit source]

The Virginia Glee Club performed the Tomkins "When David Heard" as part of a "David set" in John Liepold's second season as conductor, the Glee Club 1992-1993 season. The work was joined by other settings of the David lamentation, including the Absalon, fili mi of Josquin Des Pres, the William Billings David's Lamentation, and the newly commissioned setting of When David Heard by Benjamin Broening. The latter takes the same text as the Tomkins setting and was inspired by it. Concert performances included:

Recordings included Music for a Noble Acoustic.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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