| La Passione |
"The Passion of Christ (The Seven Last Words) was first performed during the pious practice of "The three final hours of agony of our Lord Jesus Christ", on Good Friday of Holy Week 1942, in the Florentine Church of Sacro Cuore. Written for a small choir of men voices and orchestra, it was later rescored for a larger choir and full orchestra, with the addition of the recitative narration by a second Evangelist which unites the various moments of the Oratorio. A cappella chorales, in the form of intermezzi, serve as short meditations on the action which slowly unfolds itself. The third soloist proclaims the seven last words of Christ as reported in the Gospel. The real protagonist in this work, however, is the Choir which interprets the feelings and the sentiments of the people: the pain, the anguish, the cry of humanity as it beholds the suffering Saviour, the great mistery of His passion and death.The way of the Cross, the two thieves, the Virgin Mary under the Cross, the thirst, the agony and death of the Lord are depicted as scenes from artistic paintings with an ancient popular touch.The Cross is the symbol of the Passion of Christ. The whole Oratorio concludes with the glorification of the Cross in this world, together with the joy and exultant triumph in Heaven".
(Borgo S. Lorenzo, Firenze 1917)
director of the Cappella Musicale Pontificia Sistina and member of the Academy of Santa Cecilia, is undoubtedly one of the main personalities in the musical world today both as a composer and as a director.Considered to be the most authoritative interpreter of Palestrina, he has toured several countries with the Choir of the Sistine Chapel (France, Germany, United States, Japan, etc.) as also with the Choir of the Academy of Santa Cecilia (great success had the tournee in the ex Soviet Union). He has also directed the principal Italian orchestras in Rome, Venice, Trieste, Palermo, etc.His work as composer is very intensive. So far the "Ediz. Cappella Sistina" has published more than 34 volumes which include 7 volumes of Motets, 2 of Madrigals, Laudi, sacred music, works for the organ and cembalo, Masses for choir and organ or choir and orchestra, a Miserere, a Concerto for piano and orchestra, a Symphony, a Trio, a Sonata for violin and piano, Variations for violin solo, and a whole series of Oratorios for soloists, choir and orchestra, namely, La Nativita, Baptisma, La Tempesta sul Lago, La Passione, Ascensione, Gloriosi Principes".