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  • Martinu - The Greek Passion
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Martinu - The Greek Passion

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Audio CD, September 1, 1994
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$21.11 $25.99

Disc: 1
1. Act One
2. Act Two
Disc: 2
1. Act Three
2. Act Four

Product Details

  • Performer: Helen Field, Rita Cullis, Czech Philharmonic Chorus, John Harris, Phillip Joll, et al.
  • Orchestra: Brno State Philharmonic Oechstra
  • Conductor: Sir Charles Mackerras
  • Composer: Bohuslav Martinu
  • Audio CD (September 1, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Supraphon
  • ASIN: B00000I7L9
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #611,752 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas A. Deutsch on May 28, 2004
Martinu's last opera "The Greek Passion" is a big, rich, powerful work. Set to an English-language libretto adapted by the composer from Nikos Kazantzakis's novel "Christ Recrucified," it depicts the events in a small Greek village following the choice by the religious authorities and town elders of actors for the next year's Eastertide Passion Play, and the profound ways in which their election affects their lives and that of the village. The arrival of a group of desperate refugees acts as a further catalyst to individual and collective spiritual crises. In the event, the religious authorities come off very badly; it is the humble villagers, and particularly the shepherd Manolios (chosen to portray Christ) who struggle sincerely to live Christ's teachings in this world.
Martinu's music is a masterful blend of religious music, folk music and his own individual strong-boned, extremely expressive style, fully responsive to the extemes demanded by the story, whether ecstatic or violent. The score speaks immediately to the listener on first hearing yet is also extremely sophisticated and repays repeated playings. This is a passionate and mysterious opera, not a perfect work but a very rewarding and moving one.
The score of "The Greek Passion" exists in 2 extemely different versions, both of them available on CD. The 1st ("London") version [1954-7] is formally bold & unconventional: Martinu uses a wide variety of expressive means, from unaccompanied speech (including a narrator) to large-scale operatic singing with full orchestra, sometimes moving smoothly from one mode to another, sometimes with a deliberate jolt. There is a lot of "realistic" detail and the characters are drawn "in the round"; there's also a very strongly sense of the complex social politics of the situation.
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