Classical Minnesota Public Radio will air and stream the performance of Dr. René Clausen’s “The Passion of Jesus Christ” on March 29 during Holy Week.
The program will air from 8-10 p.m. Thursday, March 29, on KCCM-FM 91.1 (Moorhead-Fargo) and on KCMF-FM 897 (Fergus Falls, Minn.). MPR will also stream the broadcast at the same time as it plays on the radio and will archive it for on-demand listening. Visit Classical MPR for the program and details.
Clausen, conductor of The Concordia Choir, was commissioned to write the piece to observe the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The oratorio-length composition is an emotional retelling of Jesus Christ’s last week of life and premiered April 8, 2017, at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. The composition was made possible by a generous gift from John and Veronna Capone.
Classical MPR’s Alison Young will host the two-hour broadcast and MPR plans to post the concert program online so listeners can follow along.
“I am thrilled to be hosting this stunning world premiere by a Minnesota legend, René Clausen,” Young said. “The Passion and its cast of characters grappling with their myriad – and often contradictory – emotions feel relevant to us today. Their feelings and subsequent actions comprise the emotional and moral ambiguities of the human condition.”
The composition, performed by the 400 musicians of the Concordia voice faculty, choirs and orchestra, brings audience members closer to powerful scenes from Christ’s procession into Jerusalem, the Last Supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, the trial before Pilate and the crucifixion. In addition to telling the story of the Passion, music and text reveal moments when major figures struggle with the motivation and implication of their actions. The Passion of Christ is at the heart of the Reformation and Martin Luther’s theology, which critiqued late medieval religion by holding up the theology of the cross.