Aumann / Letzbor / Ars Antiqua Austria - Oratorium De Passione Domini Nostri Jesu Christi | RECORD STORE DAY

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It was a sensational find in many respects when Gunar Letzbor discovered the Passion by the composer and Augustinian canon Franz Joseph Aumann in the archives of St. Florian's Abbey (near Linz, Austria) and other monasteries. This oratorio de Passione Domini nostri Jesu Christi was not only a highly expressive work from the early classical period, but also, contrary to what the Latin title might suggest, the only known surviving Catholic Passion composition in German. And: the work, which lasts around two hours, does not recount the Passion of Christ as is usually the case; instead, it's atmospheric images and reflections focus on the emotional coping with the incomprehensible - Jesus' death on the cross. The Aumann Passion was probably performed on Good Friday in St. Florian's Abbey. It's music is reminiscent of compositions by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach or Joseph Haydn's The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross. Daring harmonic turns repeatedly heighten the expression, impressive choral movements sung by the four soloists and complex fugues make the suffering of Christ and the grief of the faithful sound impressive.