|St Luke Passion|
|by Krzysztof Penderecki|
|English||Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to St Luke|
|Full title||Passio et mors Domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum Lucam|
|Performed||30 March 1966|
The St Luke Passion (full title: Passio et mors Domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum Lucam, or the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to St Luke) is a work for chorus and orchestra written in 1966 by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, which, considered within the context of the officially atheistic Polish People's Republic and other Eastern Bloc countries, makes its potentially subversive subject matter even that much more remarkable. Penderecki wrote the work to commemorate a millennium of Polish Christianity following the baptism and conversion of Polish duke Mieszko I in 966 AD. Penderecki's setting is one of several musical settings of the Passion story and contains text from the Gospel of Luke as well as other sources such as the Stabat Mater. Despite the Passion's almost total atonality and use of avant-garde musical techniques, the musical public appreciated the work's stark power and direct emotional impact and the piece was performed several more times soon after its premiere on 30 March 1966.
The Passion is almost entirely atonal, except for two major triads which occur once at the end of the Stabat Mater, a cappella , and once, an E-major triad, at the very end of the work with full choruses, orchestra and organ. It makes very frequent use of tone clusters, often played fortissimo by brass or organ. The contrapuntal equivalent of tone clusters is micropolyphony, which is one approach to texture that occurs in this piece ( Stein 1979 , 234).
Occasionally, Penderecki employs twelve-tone serialism, and utilizes the B-A-C-H motif. Moreover, David Wordsworth believe that the B-A-C-H motif unites the entire work ( Wordsworth 2013 , 47). The principle tone row, Cantus Firmus I, is C♯–D–F–E–E♭–F♯–G–G♯–B–B♭–A–C. The tone row of Cantus Firmus II is E–E♭–F–F♯–D–C♯–G–A♭–B♭–A–C–B. The chorus makes use of many extended techniques, including shouting, speaking, giggling and hissing.
The St Luke Passion is scored for large forces: a narrator (who acts as the Evangelist); soprano, baritone and bass soloists (with the baritone singing the role of Christ and the soprano and bass taking other roles as necessary); three mixed choruses and a boys' choir; and a large orchestra consisting of:
The text of the St Luke Passion is entirely in Latin. The primary source of the text is the Gospel of Luke; however, it contains other sources such as hymns, Psalms and Lamentations.
The Passion is divided into two parts and twenty-seven sections, thirteen in Part I and fourteen in Part II. Their titles are as follows.
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