Cantata for high voice, choir, and string orchestra

In this series of seven musical meditations on the words spoken by Jesus on the cross, Frehner makes dramatic use of counterpoint and other forms of superimposition to explore the meanings and universal resonances of the texts. Whispered fragments of Psalm 22 surround the opening section of the first movement, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” In “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” the passing of time is suggested by the recitation of additional fragments of Psalm 22 and by extended periods of silence. And in the penultimate movement, “It is finished,” Christ’s words are overlaid upon a rhythmically displaced modal setting of Hans Leo Hassler’s O Sacred Head, Now Wounded. The work ends with the soloist singing on a pitch outside of the mode, thus reserving a sense of harmonic resolution as the wait for Easter morning begins.

Performed by:
Michael Maniaci, male soprano
Tafelmusik Chamber Choir
Soundstreams Chamber Orchestra
Ivars Taurins, conductor

Commissioned by Soundstream with generous support by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council