Water Passion After St. Matthew
Lawrence Cherney, Artistic Director
Conducted by David Fallis
With Choir 21
“[Water Passion’s] world premiere in Stuttgart…was greeted with an ecstatic 15-minute standing ovation. Like its model, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, it transcends language, cultural and religious divides.” —THE TIMES, LONDON
Tan Dun is an internationally celebrated Chinese contemporary classical composer and conductor, most widely known for his scores of the movies Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero, the world premiere of The First Emperor at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, as well as his music for the medal ceremonies at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In Water Passion, seventeen dramatically lit water bowls adorn the stage in this reimagining of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, where Tan Dun explores universal themes of birth, death, and resurrection using water as a symbol of transition from one stage to another. Varied cultural influences also shape the string writing, drawing upon Tibetan percussion and instruments that evolved along the ancient Silk Road. The distinctly modern soundscape is cast against elemental, tactile impressions of water in this remarkable intercultural setting of the timeless liturgical text.