|Penderecki & Nagano in conversation, 2018 Salzburg Festival|
Krzysztof Penderecki's setting of the Passion story as told in the Gospel of St Luke was premièred in 1966 and immediately established a place for itself among the most important large-scale choral works of the twentieth century. Despite its decidedly modernist idiom, the music’s emotional power, glowing colours and sonic impact spoke to audiences as well as critics, one of whom described St Luke's Passion as ‘the most important bridge between the spirit of the liturgy and modern music.’ Strongly influenced by the Passions of J. S. Bach, Penderecki pays homage to the great composer by using the B-A-C-H motif throughout the work, and like Bach he has arranged his Passion in two parts, with monumental choral numbers framing the whole. The score is for large forces including an extended orchestra, three mixed choirs, plus a boys’ choir, speaker and three vocal soloists (soprano, baritone and bass). On 20th July 2018 these all convened at the Felsenreitschule in Salzburg: l'Orchestre symphonique de Montréal with their principal conductor Kent Nagano, the Warsaw Boys’ Choir and Kraków Philharmonic Choir, the three soloists and the actor Sławomir Holland. The occasion was the opening concert of the Salzburg Festival, and in the audience was the composer himself, Krzysztof Penderecki. Present was also a recording team led by Robert Suff, senior producer at BIS, and this disc is the document of this very special occasion.