Avro Pärt’s Passio

As you can see from my reviews, guitar music is my bread an butter. But over the years I’ve become more open to other genres. My collection of classical music has grown substantially in the last decade and I try to catch a few Proms every summer. One composer I’m a big fan of, is Estonian minimalist composer Arvo Pärt. In my opinion some of his music is simply sublime. With it being Easter week, Westminster Abbey’s choir decided to perform his Passio – Pärt’s setting of St John’s passion. This piece is one of my least favourite Part pieces. But I wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to hear a performance in the Abbey.

Westminster Abbey

I find the Passio a difficult piece to listen to on CD. Although it’s a striking piece, it’s performed entirely in Latin so it’s difficult to follow. But live, in an abbey, with an English translation, the piece really came alive. The baritone playing Jesus brought a dignity to Jesus’s responses that doesn’t come across in my recordings of the piece. As often happens when I see a performance of a piece for a choir, the speciality adds nuances that are missing from CD and tonight’s performance was no different. Overall it was definitely worth watching.

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