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The New Mexican's Weekly Magazine of Arts, Entertainment & Culture Monday, July 28, 2014

Onstage — Music of sorrows: "St. Luke Passion"

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Posted: Friday, April 18, 2014 5:00 am | Updated: 9:04 pm, Thu Apr 24, 2014.

Holy Week is a solemn moment in the Christian year, reaching its peak of austerity on Good Friday, which commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus. In 17th-century Germany, the liturgy during this stretch of the calendar involved readings and meditations centering on the Gospel accounts of the Passion, often accompanied by music of bracing severity. Heinrich Schütz was a long-revered musical figure when, as an octogenarian, he came to write his Passion settings, based on the Gospel accounts of Matthew, Luke, and John. All three were performed during Passiontide in 1666 at the Court of Dresden, where Schütz had by then been a valued member of the musical staff for more than half a century. On Friday, April 18, at 5:30 p.m., Linda Raney directs the Chancel Choir of  the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe (208 Grant Ave.) in Schütz’s St. Luke Passion. It is a somber, spiritually intense work of a half-hour’s duration. Soloists deliver the scriptural text unaccompanied, in chantlike speech-song, but the a cappella chorus provides occasional punctuation in the colorful polyphonic style for which Schütz was renowned. There is no admission charge, although donations are welcome. Call 505-982-8544 or visit www.fpcsantafe.org

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