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Pathos Chorodia

By Hans Leo Hassler (1601)

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Piano Accompaniment, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Chamber Orchestra, Pierrot Ensemble - Advanced Intermediate - Digital Download
Composed by Hans Leo Hassler (1601). Arranged by Robert Myers. 21st Century, 20th Century, Contemporary Classical, Sacred, Easter. Score, Set of Parts. 23 pages. Published by WheatMyer Music (S0.611943).

Item Number: S0.611943

PASSION CHORALE is the name given to a 1656 German tune which accompanies the words of the ancient hymn, "O Sacred Head Now Wounded." This tune is clearly heard throughout this instrumental arrangement called "Pathos Chorodia," which is a transliteration of the Greek for 'passion chorale.' I chose the Greek due to it being the common language of the First Century Near East with which the early Church was fluent.

Although the familiar melody is heard clearly throughout, the setting will sound very foreign to most ears. In acknowledgment of the atonal origins of the pierrot ensemble, this arrangement embraces dissonance and chromaticism, and avoids clear statements of conventional harmony without, however, being altogether atonal. Thus, it is a most unusual setting of the tune, but one that poignantly paints the deep anguish expressed in the hymn text, the anguish of the crucifixion's witnesses. The music is simultaneously shocking and familiar, which seems a fitting way to present this familiar story in all its shocking horror.

The music may be successfully performed with advanced high school or later musicians. It is not excessively technically demanding but will require artistic taste and expressiveness. It is good selection for chamber ensemble concerts and suited for either secular or sacred venues.

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