Wind without mercy
Robert Hugill's 'Passion' -
reviewed by KEITH BRAMICH
'... a very distinctive soundworld ...'
Passion by English composer Robert Hugill is an original combination of the old and the new.
An early music ensemble (The Burgundian Cadence) of just four male voices
sings music by a contemporary composer, words from
The Gospel according
to St John brush shoulders with poems written nearly two thousand years later (a selection from
Carl Cook's The Tranquil Lake of Love), and plain recitative is set alongside more
'The story of Christ's passion is one of the most influential and resonant in Western Culture',
'It has influenced Christians and non-Christians alike for two thousand years. Within the story can be
found echoes of many other stories and myths from our culture. My desire was to reflect the resonance
of the passion story and to examine the dichotomy between past and present.'
As well as interspersing
very contrasting texts (along the lines of, for example, Benjamin Britten's War Requiem, or
Tippett's A Child of our Time), Hugill also wanted to examine how traditional forces could be
used in contemporary music, and how this music might interact with earlier music from the
Copyright © 23 June 2004
Keith Bramich, Worcestershire UK