The Synergy of Music and Words
The impetus for the European vacation taking place in late winter was, as I said, to attend AC’s international debut, singing the soprano part in Osvaldo Golijov’s La Pasión según
Any Passion, of course, is telling the story of Christ’s last days and his annunciation. It’s a familiar story of despair and betrayal as well as hope and love, and it’s a story that has been set to music for centuries. The fact that Golijov is Jewish may make it seem as though he were not an appropriate choice to tell this very Christian story, but he recognizes the universals of humanity and emotion, and that’s what is needed.
The other section that made a deep impression on me was the choral piece telling of Christ’s walk to
A part of the story I had never really paid much attention to—the people lining the road on the way up to the hill—was suddenly, chillingly clear. It’s a sad story—I had always assumed that, overall, even the jeerers were a little sad. But no, this music made it abundantly clear—on a visceral, horrified, almost cellular level, that they were very likely having a great time.
And therein lies the amazing alchemy of lyric and note.