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Deus Passus

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Product Details

  • Performer: Various
  • Composer: Rihm Wolfgang
  • Audio CD (April 1 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Hae
  • ASIN: B00005MLLQ
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #316,753 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Das Ist Mein Leib
2. Potum Meum
3. Movt Instrumental
4. Und Er Ging Hinaus
5. Domine, Audivi Auditum Tuum
6. Siehe, Da Kam Die Schar
7. Eripe Me, Domine
8. Sie Griffen Ihn Aber
9. Die Manner Aber, Die Jesum Hielten/Weissage, Wer Ist's
10. Qui Cogitaverunt Malitias In Corde
11. Und Als Es Tag Ward
12. Und Sie Fuhrten Ihn Vor Pilatus
13. Da Aber Herodes Jesum Sah
14. Pilatus Aber Sprach
15. Popule Meus
16. Und Als Sie Ihn Hinfuhrten/Ihr Tochter Von Jerusalem/Es Wurden Aber Auch Hingefuhrt
17. Und Als Sie Kamen An Die Statte
18. Crux Fidelis
19. Er Hat Anderen Geholfen
20. Hic Acetum, Fel, Arundo
See all 27 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

Last fall, a series of modern masterworks were premiered as the capstone of the yearlong commemoration of the death of Johann Sebastian Bach. Four settings of the Good Friday narrative were commission by four of the world’s leading composers: Sofia Gubaidulina, Tan Dun, Osvaldo Golijov and Wolfgang Rihm.

First to be released by the international award winning Hänssler Classic label is Wolfgang Rihm’s transcendent requiem of Reconciliation, DEUS PASSUS.

For those familiar with Rihm’s earlier work, DEUS PASSUS constitutes a new direction in his stylistic development. Absent are the violent juxtapositions and bold gestures of Rihm’s earlier work. In their place, a delicate, carefully chosen almost “impressionistic” palette has been selected. This “impressionistic” approach applies equally to the texts that Rihm selected to set. Consciously selecting St. Luke’s account of Jesus’ death, specifically for it’s lack of anti-Semitic content, Rihm deleted all non dialogue material and supplemented his “Passion fragment” with selections from the Catholic lectionary, the Stabat Mater and poetic interpolations, concluding with a moving setting of Paul Celan’s “inverted prayer”, TENEBRAE.

Grammy Award winning conductor, Helmuth Rilling delivers one of the finest performances of his career, directing the Gachinger Kantorei, the Bach-Collegium Stuttgart and stellar soloists Juliane Banse, Iris Vermillion, Cornelia Kallisch, Christoph Prégardien and Andreas Schmidt in a score that rightfully takes it’s place with the 20th century’s “other” great St. Luke Passion, the Penderecki “Passio et more domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum Lucam”.

Wolfgang Rihm, one of Germany's leading composers, here plants himself in Bach's footsteps with a version of the St. Luke Passion. Rihm emphasizes spirituality in this calm unfolding of the drama. Five vocal soloists take the parts traditionally assigned to the Evangelist and Jesus; their lines are often broken into phrases taken by each singer. While alluding to his eminent predecessor, Rihm's music is thoroughly contemporary, though nowhere approaching iconoclastic avant-garde. He intersperses the Gospel text with liturgical hymns, a passage from Isaiah and a Stabat Mater, and closes the work with a setting of Paul Celan's poem Tenebrae.

Overall, the work impresses with its seriousness, its refusal to sensationalize or strive for effect, and its largely successful effort to adapt a traditional form to our times. This recording was made at the concert premiere, and Helmut Rilling, who commissioned the work, leads an intense performance that sustains interest throughout its hour and a half. Orchestra and chorus are fine, the soloists outstanding. -- Dan Davis

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9d3294ec) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d12bd68) out of 5 stars In Need of Contrast April 17 2003
By Christopher Forbes - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Of all the pieces commissioned by Helmut Rilling for the Passion 2000 project, Wolfgang Rihm's is by far the most traditional. Written by a compatriot of Bach, with Passion texts alternating with "meditations" from the Catholic mass and a poem by Paul Celan, this work is Germanic to the core. And while it is a fine work, it has a certain stodginess that is hard to ignore.
Rihm is probably the leading German composer of his generation and one often touted as a European "neo-romantic". This description should not conjure up the likes of the ever tuneful John Corigliano in your mind. Rather, this means that Rihm is a 12 tone composer who has escewed the trappings of total serialism to create music not all that far from Luigi Nono, Alois Zimmerman or even Berg. The composer culled his text from fragments of the St. Luke passion story. By cutting the narration down to the bare bones, the work has a directness that is missing from more verbose passion settings. Words are split between five soloists and the chorus, negating any simple dramatic reading of the text. Instead, it becomes an extended dark meditation on the Luke passion story.
But this lack of drama is also one of the biggest faults in the score. The piece is monolithic. Though occasionally Rihm uses an interesting instrumental effect (courtesy of his time studying with Helmut Lachenman) most of the sections of the work blend into the other sections, almost seamlessly. And though there are changes of tempo, these are mostly quite subtle, and do nothing to relieve the unrelenting Lento feeling of the work. Add to that a very large orchestra that, paradoxically, seems mostly muddy and dark (so dark it makes Brahms sound positively sensuous!) and the work begins to loose steam rather quickly.
The challenge of writing a passion is to match the music to the gradually darkening mood of the text, without becoming unrelentingly dull. Bach is a master of this...and the St. Matthew Passion seems to get deeper and deeper...and more tragic by every chorale. Not so Rihm. Because he starts so darkly, there is basically nowhere for the work to go. By the end, rather than being moved by the arc of the passion story, you are just depressed...not the point behind a spiritual piece of music. So over all, this is a noble failure. There is much strong thought and craft in it. But it fails to reach the heights of it's text.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cfbeabc) out of 5 stars Blurring The Sound Images May 9 2011
By James S. Eisenberg - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Wolfgang Rihm's setting of fragments from the Saint Luke Passion narrative with Biblical texts and a poem by Paul Celan as a final sequence, blends atonal, tonal, monodic, polyphonic, gentle and violent ideas into a cohesive and fascinating whole. The vocal styles range from the expressionistic to neo-bel canto. I remained fascinated by the work throughout its ninety minute duration. Rihm, who has been greatly influenced by Luigi Nono, achieves similar sound worlds to the Nono of AL GRAN SOLE CARICO D'AMORE and PROMETEO here, but entirely by "live" means, without the intervention of live electronics or electronic tape. He is not however a mere Nono imitator. His approach to vocal expression is uniquely his own.
Rihm states in the liner notes that he chose the Saint Luke text because it is the least anti-Semitic of the Passion narratives, and one certainly cannot fault him for being "P.C." here, yet his choice of texts seems to reflect much on the modern political world.
The soloists, who we normally associate with the Baroque oratorios and such nineteenth century oratorio composers as Mendelssohn and Franck, are wonderfully adept at the tricky atonal vocal lines.
The sound recording, a live performance from Stuttgart in 2000, is excellent.
Although the liner notes seem to be up to Hanssler's high standards, my copy of the booklet was missing four pages of libretto, and four pages from the English and French translations.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cfcf084) out of 5 stars Best of an impressive foursome Dec 11 2012
By Michael G. Shafto - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Except for the Stabat Mater, I had not heard this piece until I became obsessive about the Passion 2000 project. (Quoting Wikipedia: "Golijov and composers Sofia Gubaidulina, Tan Dun, and Wolfgang Rihm were commissioned by the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart to write pieces for the Passion 2000 project in commemoration of Johann Sebastian Bach. Golijov's contribution was La Pasión según San Marcos (The Passion according to St. Mark).") I heard the San Marcos in a live performance a few years ago, and like many others, I instantly became a huge fan. In fact, as we left the concert hall, I remarked to my wife that I was sorry we could not immediately repeat the experience. Long story short, I finally tracked down recordings of all four of these compositions, and RIhm's was actually the last one I acquired. I have listened to all of them a number of times, and probably listened to the Golijov twice as much as any of the rest. Without the slightest hint of disrespect for any of these wonderful compositions -- I recommend that everyone do what I did and get them all -- it is the Rihm that grows on me the most with repeated hearing. The performance is excellent, likewise the recording. The composition reminds me a little of Alban Berg: It is modern in the sense that it establishes its own language and develops according to its own plan -- coherent overall and engrossing moment by moment. Like Berg, Rihm uses the whole palette and never gets close to becoming one-dimensional. He is always -- simultaneously -- intellectually interesting and emotionally engaging. But again, this piece is marvelous as the third in a series of four.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cfd8db0) out of 5 stars Great composer, interesting music May 21 2006
By Damir Janigro - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Originally commissioned by the Passio 2000 project, this is one of the four examples of modern music dealing with the final days of Christ. Great text (assembled from many sources) innovative yet accessible music and great sense of lithurgy make these CD's an essential component of contemporary music selections. However, the other reviewer is correct, the piece is monolythic, and there are little dynamic changes. I suspect this was intentional, though.