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Via Dolorosa  
7:30 p.m. November 17, 2018

Via Dolorosa

St. Peter in Chains Cathedral
8th & Plum Streets, Cincinnati, OH

The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra’s 2018-19 Passport to musical adventure takes audiences across the globe.  On November 17th, the KSO teams up with the St. Peter in Chains Cathedral Choir for the North American premiere of Pawel Lukeszewski’s Via Crucis.

“Bringing new, serious and expressive music to the U.S. and Tristate, and performing such works in an appropriate venue with first-rate performers became the catalyst for this program.  Having worked with the St. Peter in Chains Cathedral Choir and director Anthony DiCello in 2016 on the premiere of Kim Arnesen’s Magnificat, everyone who performed and attended the program found the performance to be both moving and memorable. We hope to generate a similar musical/spiritual aura with this Fall’s collaboration, though the text, music and style of Lukeszewski’s work are
completely different,”commented KSO music director James Cassidy.

The program opens with Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award-winning composer Jennifer Higdon’s “Blue Cathedral.”  Commenting on the 12-minute orchestral work from 2000, Higdon describes the cathedral as a space for spiritual contemplation, growth and expression — “a symbolic doorway into
and out of this world.” The orchestral work requires musicians to play crystal glasses, tuned by the amount of water in each, and Chinese reflex bells creating ethereal sounds of time and distance.

Pawel Lukesewski is Poland’s most prolific and well-known living composer, specializing in anti-modern choral and instrumental writing. His 50-minute Via Crucis (2000) is written for 8-part chorus, orchestra, counter tenor (Evangelist), tenor (Pilate, Simon), baritone (Jesus), narrator and organ.
The work, sung in Latin, is a powerful, yet hauntingly beautiful musical depiction of the 14 Stations of the Cross. (Lukeszewski includes the Resurrection as a 15th Station.)  Jarring, heavy hammer-like blows (1-14) announce the arrival at each Station.

(The opening is somewhat reminiscent of the opening of Orff’s Carmina Burana).  The visceral scene gives way each time to a serene, uplifting calm of a 5-part women’s choir singing “Adoramus Te, Sanctissme Domine Jesu Christe.”

St. Peter in Chains Cathedral

St. Peter in Chains Cathedral
St. Peter in Chains Cathedral

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