Album

Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Libor Pešek

Martinů: The Greek Passion

Catalogue Number: SU 3984-2
Published: 16th April 2010
First release: SUPRAPHON, 1983
Genre: Opera
Format: 2 CD
The Greek Passion became for Bohuslav Martinů (8.12. 1890 - 18. 8. 1959) an opera epilogue whose humanistic message surpasses that of all the others owing to the sheer power of the faith and emotion. Martinů liked experimenting with opera - from setting folk texts, legends and commedie dell'arte through new formations for radio and television to opera-film, opera ballet and opera-dream. Nikos Kazantzakis's novel Christ Recrucified captivated the composer with the fate of refugees amid an unconcerned, indifferent world. Martinů himself was a refugee. In the libretto, which he prepared on the basis of the novel's English translation, he captured in an effective stage contraction the transformations of the characters and the reversions of the action. Applying remarkable technique and groundbreaking compositional invention, he depicted a world of church, genuine faith and life in the Greek countryside. He interconnected the ideational and musical content with musical motifs of the Cross and compassionate love. The elaborate operatic drama The Greek Passion was scheduled to be premiered in London yet the intention ultimately did not materialise. Subsequently, London would have to wait forty-two years for the staging of the opera (London version). After the opera was rejected, Martinů did not discard the work but revised it conceptually into a new, more compendious, more operatic and musically more sublime form. Yet he did not live to see the second version performed either. The Greek Passion was first staged almost two years after the composer's death, in Zurich on 9 June 1961. In the autumn of 1981, the independent preparations for this gramophone recording courageously strove to bring the Czech text closer tothe original deep spiritual sense of this extraordinary work for the first time.

Reviews

Libretto for download: http://www.supraphon.com/…gue/libretto

CD 1

Bohuslav Martinů
The Greek Passion. Opera in 4 Acts, H. 372
1.
Act 1 "Christ is risen: Joy!" 04:59
2.
Act 1 "Manolios! We have chosen you to represent Christ" 02:35
3.
Act 1 " What a heavy burden the Priest has put on our backs" 02:57
4.
Act 1 "Lord! Lord!" 03:21
5.
Act 1 "Kyrie eleison!" 03:29
6.
Act 1 "Who are you? What are you doing here?" 02:51
7.
Act 1 "Oh! - My son, at this very moment" 03:32
8.
Act 1 "Daughter of the Almighty" 04:13
9.
Act 2 "And as he sowed, some seeds fell by the wayside" 03:14
10.
Act 2 "Sit down, Yannakos!" 03:15
11.
Act 2 "Manolios! Why do you run after me!" 04:39
12.
Act 2 "My children, Man is like a tree" 06:06
13.
Act 2 "Here is a good man from Lycovrissi" 01:57
14.
Act 2 "Father, the old man is dead" 04:15

CD 2

Bohuslav Martinů
The Greek Passion. Opera in 4 Acts, H. 372
1.
Act 3 "Play, Nikolio, take your pipe and play something" 07:01
2.
Act 3 "Manolios, what's the matter with you?" 03:49
3.
Act 3 "Who's there?" 04:28
4.
Act 3 Intermezzo 01:57
5.
Act 3 "I'm the son of the lightning and the grandson of the thunder" 05:15
6.
Act 3 "We must put a stop to it" 00:53
7.
Act 3 "Christ was on the mountain" 04:20
8.
Act 3 "I've secret for you!" 05:21
9.
Act 4 "As the apple three among trees" 04:04
10.
Act 4 "Brother Christians! God made us all blind" 03:58
11.
Act 4 "I waited patiently for my Lord" 05:18
12.
Act 4 "Manolios!" 02:54
13.
Act 4 "Oh Lord let our cry, our cry come unto Thee" 04:55
14.
Act 4 "The name of the young man was written in the snow" 04:18