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Tremendous Impact of Sofia Gubaidulina's "St. John Easter"

There is no end in sight to the series of enthusiastic commentaries on the premiere performance of Sofia Gubaidulina's "Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ According to St. John" in March 2002 (St. Michaelis Church, Hamburg). In the periodical "Musik & Kirche" Herbert Glossner writes the following:

"(...) The overwhelming effect of this religious, theological-aesthetic confrontation with the biblical texts corresponds to the work's enormous instrumental and vocal (in the Russian language) forces. The Passion and Easter story of the gospel is interspersed with quotations from the Revelation of St. John. An "extra-temporal," apocalyptic-visionary level corresponds to the temporal level. One hears the Russian liturgical tradition in the recitative tones of psalmody sung by the bass narrator and the frequently sounding chimes. But the orchestral sound masses, the organ also used as a solo instrument and the alternating or united choirs go far beyond that. A mystical-ecstatic element shines in the work's chromaticism and chords in superimposed layers, in its polytonality and clusters (...)."