work details

Passion Music

A Study After Penderecki

  • Instrumentation: 4 violas da gamba
  • Completed: April 2008
  • Duration: 5 minutes
  • Audio:
    • Passion Music for Four Viols

      Quaver Viol Consort

      Marie Szuts, Brady Lanier, Tobi Szuts, and Loren Ludwig, violas da gamba
      Recorded March 20, 2015 - St. Mark's Parish - Berkeley, CA

  • Program Note:

    My Passion Music for Four Viols is a work indebted to the music of Krzysztof Penderecki. In my time at Yale, I embarked upon a deep and focused analysis of his seminal oratorio, the St. Luke Passion. Through this study, I became engaged with his use of pitch procedures and styles to evoke and represent grander ideas and thoughts: atonal music standing for uncertainty, sonorism for violence, and the major triad as a symbol of redemption. Passion Music is a distillation of Penderecki's ideas into an instrumental ensemble that I was entranced with at the time: the piercingly beautiful nasal sound of the viola da gamba. In this work, we have some of Penderecki's original motives from St. Luke, but we also have the ideals and sound world of the Baroque. This juxtaposition of disparate sound worlds brings us into an entirely new place then, where we can examine the work of Penderecki and the "misshapenness" of the Baroque with fresh ears. 

    The work is dedicated humbly to Marie Dalby Szuts, who first introduced me to the viola da gamba, and who stirred within me the love for this ancient and rapturous instrument.

  • Performances:
    • March 20, 2015 (Premiere)
      Quaver Viol Consort (Marie Szuts, Brady Lanier, Tobi Szuts, and Loren Ludwig)
      Barefoot Chamber Concerts
      St. Mark's Parish Hall - 2300 Bancroft Way - Berkeley, CA