by Ken MyersThe term "Passion" is used to describe both the sufferings of Jesus on the Cross and a genre of pictorial, dramatic, or musical works recounting those sufferings. Musical Passions typically follow the narrative structure of one of the Gospel accounts of the events of Holy Week. They present a narrated story—the characters portrayed by singers often include an Evangelist as a narrator sharing the stage with Jesus and Judas, Peter and Pilate.
Early Passion settings were simply chanted, but by the late fifteenth century, more elaborate "through-composed" settings be . . .
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