Music and The Passion: Historical Overview

The following paper explores the way the theme of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Jesus Christ has been treated in vocal music throughout the ages. It is divided chronologically into two parts. The first part covers music from Middle ages until the end of the Renaissance and the second part treats vocal music from the early Baroque period until today.

MUSIC AND THE PASSION – PART I

I. Liturgical drama

  1. Planctus, Blessed Virgin Mary Laments
  2. Quem Meritis dialogues
  3. Visitatio Sepulchri (Visitation to the Sepulchre)
  4. Ludus Paschalis: Ressurrection Plays
  5. Passion plays
  6. Passion Gospel

 II.Vernacular liturgical drama

  1. England
  2. Italy
  3. Germany
  4. a) The Marienklage (Lament of Mary)
  5. b) Passion Plays

MUSIC AND THE PASSION – PART II

I. Staged works:

  1. Jesuit drama
  2. Sacra rapprasentatione (Sacred play)
  3. Sepolcro (Sepulchre)
  4. Passion play at Oberammergau
  5. Wagner sacred drama
  6. Passion Musicals
  7. The Passion Opera

 II. Unstaged works

  1. The St Philpe Nery oratories
  2. The Oratorio
  3. Oratorio in Viena, Metastasio’s Libretto Passio
  4. German Passion
  5. The Passion Cantatas
  6. Stabat Mater
  7. England
  8. Haendel and the English oratorio
  9. Grand Choral Festivals
  10. The Cathedral choral tradition
  11. Germany
  12. 20th and 21st Century Passion