And you must suffer
Many music lovers experience Bach's St John Passion as short but intense. Its text connects poetry to the biblical passion story while the music swerves between narrative recitatives and chorales.
Bach's music provides the narrative material for a contemporary reflection on the role of religion and its clashing claims of truth, on identity and the ensuing conflicts and finally on suffering and com-passion. Is the gospel of John really anti-Semitic? And just how rigid is Bach's truth?
In his Via Crucis, Delvoye, iconoclast, sends X-rays through it all and reduces religious truth to nothing more than a paltry stack of bones, the bones of mice. Different musical styles and influences converge around the notes of maestro Bach. Within the contemporary context of polarization Israeli-Palestinian composer Samir Odeh-Tamimi offers a welcome sound of reconciliation. In his music western avant-garde and ancient Sufi sounds perform a whirling dance, like a double helix. Could this be the DNA of com-passion? The Flemish composer Annelies Van Parys reconciles old and new music in her work, building a bridge to a distant past but with a contemporary message. The result is performed by the baroque orchestra B'Rock and the soloists of the NFM Choir from Wroclaw.
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Image: Wim Delvoye • Bass: Tomáš Král • Direction (mise-en-espace): Pierre Audi • Choir: NFM Choir • Christ: Dominik Köninger • Evangelist: Jakob Pilgram • Musical Direction: Andreas Spering • Tenor: Magnus Staveland • Soprano: Grace Davidson • Ensemble: B'Rock Orchestra • Video: Mirjam Devriendt • Vincent Dunoyer • Alto: Benno Schachtner • Assistants director: Marie Martinez • Maria Lamont • Composition: J.S. Bach • Samir Odeh-Tamimi • Annelies Van Parys • Scenography | Costumes: Roel Van Berckelaer • Lighting Design: Peter Quasters