Arvo Pært's Pasio

Yesterday I discovered this was to be performed at Westminster Abbey tonight. There were still tickets in the North Nave, just a few so I took a couple. Glad I did as I see it is now sold out

I have since learned this is apparently one of his most popular works, base don the St Johns Gospel and involving some complicated schema known as tintinnabuli which I guess is where tintinnabulation comes from? Jesus is a baritone with Pilate a tenor and a quartet for the evangelist - with choral backing I guess....

Seventy minutes straight through so there's some level of anxiety about being there on time!

This was an extremely memorable concert, but I have to be honest - there were perhaps six or maybe a dozen bars in the performance that I found incredibly transformative, needless to say the crucifixo and the closing bars were the passages. I do not mean to diminish the rest of the performance though and I am certain the whole was required for those parts to have affected me the way they did.

I have never had the sensation of light as intensely as the closing of that piece, and I can completely understand the reasons for the ascension and halos to be golden now....

During the more narrative parts I did idly wonder what the life of a serious choirboy at a school like that is and how it shapes the man; and ironically my thoughts tended to be along the lines of "there but for the grace of God!"...!

Well, it strikes me as ironic now, perhaps there is something of the Easter message in that to be discovered?

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