Duration: Approx. 10 minutes
Composed at the request of Kees Arntzen and the Evangelical Broadcasting Company (EO). Dedicated to Chana Meyer and Chaim van Unen.

Aychah is the Hebrew name of the Book of Lamentations and means “wherefore”.


2 Flutes
2 Oboes
2 Clarinets in Bb
2 Bassoons

4 French Horns in F
2 Trumpets

Pair of Cymbals


Vocal Ensemble (S A T Bar B)

String Orchestra

Score in C

First performance was on March 30, 2002 in the large hall of Concert Center Vredenburg, Utrecht, performed by the Gesualdo Consort and the Radio Chamber Orchestra conducted by Peter Eötvös.

Text Sources

Verses 1, 2, and 4 from chapter 1 of “Aychah” (Lamentations) and is sung in Hebrew.

1. How doth the city sit solitary, that was once full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!

2. She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks; among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies.

4. The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn feasts; all her gates are desolate; her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness.

(King James translation)