Notes and Editorial Reviews
The 'St. Luke Passion' of Krzysztof Penderecki received its premiere in 1966. Penderecki's deep spirituality and humanity made him an ideal candidate for the bringing of the story of Christ's passion and death into the 20th century. Representing something of a breakthrough, Penderecki's 'St. Luke Passion' is one of the rare instances when a composer firmly in the avant garde treats a religious subject. The 'St. Luke Passion' features many of the traditional passion oratorio elements wed to Penderecki's distinctive style. There are frequent passages for crashing blocks of sound, dissonant cries from the chorus, and tortured arias. All of this suits the subject matter quite well: there isn't a note in the work that doesn't make musical or dramatic sense.
This is an outstanding recording with some superb solo singing, especially by soprano Fraziska Hirzel, and technically brilliant choral and orchestral performances. Conductor Marc Soustrot leads the gargantuan forces with flair, skillfully maintaining the delicate balance between the dramatic and the musical.