The magnificent oratorio Passía, Op 28, by Hafliði Hallgrímsson will be performed in Hallgrímskirkja on Good Friday, April 3, at 5 pm. Passía premiered in 2001 to great acclaim and a recording of the oratorio was subsequently widely praised.
Passía was commissioned from Hafliði Hallgrímsson by The Friends of the Arts Society of Hallgrímskirkja to commemorate 1000 years of Christianity in Iceland and premiered in Hallgrímskirkja in February 2001. The following year it was performed again in a revised version and recorded. This third concert performance of the oratorio has been eagerly awaited.
Passía was released on CD by the Finnish recording company Ondine in 2003 and received glowing reviews in several respected international music magazines. The consensus of the critics was that while artistically Passía is an extremely ambitious work, it is noticably accessible and moving.
“New music for the mind and for the heart” Bavarian Radio
“Passion for our time” BBC
” A modern religious masterpiece” ***** BBC Music Magazine
“Music of the most sublime beauty” The International Record Review
“timeless quality” of this “dramatic, magnificently sung setting of the Passion story from Iceland” ***** Gramophone
Passía is closely linked to Hallgrímskirkja. In the words of the composer: “The noble and peaceful interior of Hallgrímskirkja (which is named after the poet), as well as the sensitive acoustics of the church, played an important part in the creation of Passía. In a sense, this work uses the church as an instrument, as a delicate sounding board for its mysterious content.”
The oratorio is dedicated to the Motet Choir of Hallgrímskirkja and the musical director of the church, Hörður Áskelsson, who received the Icelandic Music Award and the Cultural Prize of the newspaper DV in 2002 for his interpretation of the piece.
Tickets can be purchased at Hallgrímskirkja and online at midi.is, the price is 4.900 ISK.