The sacred cantata for soloists, choir and orchestra was written as an expression of the pain Dvorak felt after the death of his daughter Josefa (September 1875). He returned to the final stylisation of the work after fate dealt him another heavy blow when, in the summer of 1877, two of his other children died in quick succession.
Dvorak's musical setting of the medieval Passion text by Jacopone da Todi is an integral part of the Easter festivities and it is also performed regularly on the concert platform. Arranged in ten independent parts, of which only the two outer parts are thematically related, this cantata is an unadorned, sincere, to a considerable extent realistic, but also magnanimous reflection of the emotional journey from the depths of torment and suffering to the joyful solace of compassionate prayer. This, together with its purely musical qualities, renders it one of the most compelling and most successful spiritual works in the world repertoire.
This title is part of the first Complete Critical Edition of Works by Antonin Dvorak.
Also available for sale:
- Vocal Score with Dvorak's original Piano reduction H7920
- Study Score H2268
Performance material available for hire.