Bryce Dessner's Lachrimae was commissioned by the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the Scottish Ensemble, and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra.
Lachrimae is a direct reference to John Dowland's work of the same name. I had played that that piece in school on guitar and decided that I wanted to base something on it. Dowland himself adapted the piece several times into different versions and there's also a Benjamin Britten composition based on the same piece of music, so that was part of my inspiration. When I wrote my work I was listening to string orchestra music and I think Bartók's Divertimento is the pinnacle of string writing. So the piece is kind of equally inspired by Dowland's Rennaissance Lachrimae and by Bartók's Divertimento.