In the Passion according to John the musician relied on to the male choir, with four voices, for the turbarum voces (the interventions of the people, soldiers and grand priests); whereas for the historian, the narrating voice, he is presenting the Evangelical text in “Florence’s language”, so that the people could fully understand it.
The tale of the Passion of the Christ develops itself along two
main directions: the recitation in Vulgar language and the people’s
interventions in Latin.
The Evangelical narration stops in the critical moments thanks to the esponsors from the prophecies and lamentations which represent, following Corteccia’s intentions, moments of devoted meditation.
These polyphonic inserts are the most inspired pages of the entire opera: notably the touching Tristis est anima mea, the dramatic Caligaverunt oculi mei and the Tenebrae factae sunt which is considered to be a masterpiece of the mottoes’ genre.
In the end, after Christ’s death, the choir ends with the Evangelium, which is the tale of the Deposition from the Cross and the Burial.
Of this magnificent repertoire the Polyphonic Group “Claudio Monteverdi” published a compact disc.