Federation Of Recorded Music Societies

Pierucci was born in Italy; since 1988 he has been the organist at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and has written much sacred music. Regina Derieva was born in the Soviet Union; in 1949, she emigrated with her husband and son to go to Israel, where, however they were denied citizenship since they are Catholics. As stateless persons they later found a home when they were allowed to live in Sweden.

The cantata reflects upon the tragedies of suffering mankind, of death, and of the striving of Man to God. Its writing coincided with an exacerbation of the suffering of the Palestine people but makes no direct reference to this.

Despite a theme that many will find shocking, the music is not morbid, on the contrary it is tuneful and uplifting in spirit. It is written in traditional European mode with just a hint of Eastern exoticism and is enjoyable to listen to. The performance and recording is excellent. The presentation is good, and includes the full text of the poems in various languages. The disc also includes two sets of organ variations played by the composer.

The disc can be recommended strongly to lovers of church music.

—Arthur Baker