Methodist Ladies College Music Auditorium, Melbourne 1997
Paul Grabowsky, Alister Spence, Niko Schauble, Doug de Vries, John Rodgers
"This is modern music, brilliantly written and played."
- John Clare, SMH
In 1997, five movements from J.S. Bach’s masterpiece Passion According to St Matthew were given to five composers from within the Australian Art Orchestra: Doug de Vries, Paul Grabowsky, John Rodgers, Niko Schauble and Alister Spence. Their task was not to arrange or adapt the original music, but to draw inspiration from it and to write new music that would address the same themes. The great St Matthew Passion of J.S. Bach covers the extremities of musical emotion in a depiction of the final days of Christ and the new compositions draw on the emotional nuances of the original while employing the language of contemporary music.
Whilst remaining a cornerstone of the AAO repertoire, Passion is a constantly evolving program. In 2005, Ruby Hunter and Archie Roach composed and performed three new love songs commissioned for the Festival de Mexico Centro Historico performances. In 2014, Soundstreams in Toronto commissioned Nicole Lizee to write a new movement for Passion’s Canadian premiere.
Trinity St Paul's Church, Soundstreams, Toronto, Canada
Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre Melbourne
Artshouse, North Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne
Castlemaine State Festival Castlemaine
Festival de Mexico Centro Historico, Mexico
Sydney Festival, Sydney Opera House
Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne
Adelaide Festival of the Arts, Adelaide
Methodist Ladies College Music Auditorium, Melbourne