Upon the willows in the midst of it we hung our harps. For there our captors demanded of us songs, and our tormentors mirth, saying, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion.’ How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget her skill. May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy.” What longing, what a dream.
By the rivers of Babylon, the Jews that had been carried off to there in exile dreamed of one day being allowed to return home. Over time, this dream served numerous composers as the text for their compositions – in the Middle Ages (di Lasso, Dachstein, Reincken, Bach) up until...
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