Fantasia on 'Lass ihn kreuzigen' : after J.S. Bach, St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244, for piano trio
by Tom Henry (2009)
Score SampleView a sample of the score of this work
Performance by Freshwater Trio from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 103.
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'Lass ihn kreuzigen' ('Let him be crucified') is a very short fughetta for Chorus from the St Matthew Passion. It follows the dramatic moment when Pilate asks the crowd whether he should free Jesus or Barabbas. The word 'Barabbas!', almost shouted in a Diminished 7th chord by the Chorus, is perhaps the most shocking and unexpected moment in the work.
Pilate then asks what he should do with 'Jesus, who is called Christ'. The fughetta provides the answer.
The musical material in this Fantasia is wholly derived from the musical material of Bach's subject for this fughetta. This subject is heard, after a short Prologue, at first on cello, then on violin.
The rest of the Fantasia is a meditation on the events in the Passion story that precede and follow this Chorus. There are four themes. First, the seething tumult and hatred of the crowd, demanding that Barabbas be freed. Secondly, the squabbling of the Chief Priests and Elders, the key players in the Passion Story, whose machinations bring Jesus to Golgotha. Thirdly, Gethsemene, or the Agony in the Garden, where Jesus prays to his Father for deliverance. Finally, there is the glorious Ascension that follows the crucifixion of Jesus, in which the music moves towards a final peaceful benediction.
Instrumentation: Violin, cello, piano.
Duration: 7 min.
Commission note: Commissioned by Freshwater Trio.
First performance: by Freshwater Trio — 1 Aug 09. The Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre
- Has as subject/About: Spiritual and Sacred Music
Performances of this work
1 Aug 09: The Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre. Featuring Freshwater Trio.
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