When David heard that Absalom was slain…
I heard this beautiful music on Radio 3 this morning. It stopped me in my tracks and couldn’t do anything until it was finished. It’s by someone who’s quite new to me called Thomas Tomkins, a Welsh composer who lived from 1572 to 1656. This piece is setting of a biblical text from the 2nd Book of Samuel (Chapter 18 Verse 13) when David learns of the death of his son Absalom. In the King James version this reads
And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!