A decade ago the premiere of Osvaldo Golijov’s La Pasión según San Marcos “dropped like a bomb on the belief that classical music is an exclusively European art” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker) and became known as “the first indisputably great composition of the 21st Century” (Boston Globe). Deftly exploiting the popular appeal and emotional immediacy of samba, salsa, flamenco, mambo, and the elemental vigor of folk and popular motifs, Golijov’s La Pasión según San Marcos sets the last days of Christ amidst the streets of Latin America. On March 23rd, Deutsche Grammophon releases the first new recording of the work since the premiere in 2000. Both Golijov and the producers at DG felt it imperative to create this definitive new studio recording of La Pasión to showcase the richness of the work’s texture and its maturity over the past decade. The audio recording on two CDs is released in tandem with the DVD of a 2008 live performance from the Holland Festival conducted by Robert Spano.
National Public Radio hailed La Pasión as one of the most important records of the decade, and has referred to Golijov as “one of the most exciting, innovative and important composers working today.” Commissioned by the International Bach Academy, it bowed in 2000 in Stuttgart on the 250th anniversary of Bach’s death.
The original recording of this work, recorded live at that premiere in 2000 was an important early document of this new work, but a decade later La Pasión has, according to Golijov
“acquired a certain monumentality. It has evolved from a wild beast into a coherent being; into something that is still powerful but in a more self-assured way. The important thing in doing this new recording was to show the stage of maturity the piece has reached.”He goes on to say,
“The recording is radically different, because we know what we are doing and we know how to record all this vast array of percussion that was a blur in the first recording but now creates this rainbow of shifting colors. We also know how to record the many layers of the voices. We can really have a clear picture of what this piece is, as opposed to just a snapshot which is what we had ten years ago. Also, the performance is different. It is still visceral but grown-up. It is a piece that already exists. It is a presence; it is an entity in the world. And it sounds like that.”
On April 24 and 25, La Pasión según San Marcos will be performed at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic as part of Gustavo Dudamel’s Americas and Americans Festival spotlighting music from North and South America. The performers include Orchestra La Pasión conducted by Maria Guinand, and vocalist Luciana Souza. This spring Osvaldo Golijov will be the composer in residence for the Toronto Symphony's New Creations Festival, held February 25-March 3, 2010 while March 11-15th will bring Osvaldo Golijov's final concerts as Composer in Residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. More information at www.osvaldogolijov.com.
More information about this recording including excerpts, listening guides, video trailer and tracklist can be found here.