It's easy to understand why Osvaldo Golijov's La Pasió*Segú*San Marcos received a 30-minute ovation at its 2000 Stuttgart premiere: a transferral of the Easter story to Latin America, it's a vibrant, sonically colourful experience in which the native South American strains of samba, tango and salsa contribute as much as the orchestral and choral elements.
The aria performances owe more to Portuguese fado than to European classical singing. Golijov's intention was "to present a dark Jesus, not a pale European Jesus", and his success is partly due to his incorporation of native styles and structures. The result is an engaging tapestry in which demotic forms and religious chorale combine with piquant, astringent energy.
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