• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

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Musical Interlude

I don’t usually use this blog just to plug stuff, but for those not in the know, the CD producer Naxos has one of the best sites on the whole web: for just , you can stream thousands of their classical music recordings, which range from Gregorian Chant to modern Japanese composers, with pretty much everything else in between (including such obscure sub-genres as “Model Operas of the Cultural Revolution”).

Among their new releases for this month is the amazing Passio et Resurrectio by Sergio Rendine. From the notes:

This music is made of flesh, as well as spirit; nerves, as well as spirit; anxiety, uncertainty, fear, pain and confusion, as well as spirit.

…The Easter cantata Passio et Resurrectio is a musical setting of the feelings expressed by ordinary people about the most important event in the church calendar. It takes its inspiration from local folk traditions (themselves rooted in ancient rituals) which survived until very recently in the rural areas of Abruzzo, Campania and Puglia.

And from a review:

Where do I start to try to tell you what to expect? At one moment it returns to sacred music dating back in the Baroque era; the next it is in a raucous North African folk idiom; then some haunting minimalism. I hear Puccini and a flute solo in Stabat Mater that would form a beautiful backdrop to a sentimental Hollywood scene, with a serene choral passage that follows. The Agnus Dei – the work’s most extended movement – opens with a soprano solo that could have come from somewhere around Verdi’s time. And so the music progresses, with ‘pop’ music added for good measure. Bernstein’s Mass springs to mind as a previous venture into such mixed media. Try two short tracks 5 and 6 to sample its varying moods. It is a unique experience, and I can only comment that the performance has tremendous impact.

It’s really quite incredible – and the disk itself only costs five quid (that’s about $10)!

One Response

  1. […] of composers and compositions that deserve to be better-known, both ancient and modern. In August I particularly enthused over Sergio Rendine’s folk passion-piece, Passio et Resurrectio; this month, I have been glad […]

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