World Premiere of Bent Sørensen's St. Matthew Passion

World Premiere of Bent Sørensen's St. Matthew Passion
© Lars Skaaning

The world premiere of Bent Sørensen’s St. Matthew Passion at Oslo International Church Music Festival, is this year’s streaming experience, if you ask Magnus Andersson from

From March 28 to April 26, this year’s Oslo International Church Music Festival will be available for streaming. Instead of another cancellation, the festival decided to make the best of it. And according to critics, they have made the right decision!

Stream the concert here.

…both choir and orchestra play different character aspects of the music, both of which are equally true and essential, and the choral movement is successfully written into the orchestral movement, or perhaps one could say, the other way round, that the orchestral movement is written in the choral movement. Regardless, both tell the story through timbre and texture.

This can quickly become part of the standard repertoire of passions. St. Matthew Passion has quality and depth. It can sound as beautiful to the ears, as it teases the listener’s curiosity about the work, the text and the poetic value the mystery of Easter.
– Magnus Andersson,

St. Matthew Passion was performed at the Festival’s Opening Concert, March 12 by Ensemble Allegria & The Norwegian Soloists' Choir, led by Grete Pedersen.

The text was curated by Jakob Holtze and is a composite of traditional biblical texts and poetry, primarily from Edith Södergran, Anna Akhmatova, Emily Dickinson, Frank Jæger, Ole Sarvig and Bent Sørensen’s dear friend, Søren Ulrik Thomsen.

The idea for my Passion was a journey, a sort of crucifixion. A journey in the mist – in and out of the light. A journey towards crucifixion, but even more a journey towards resurrection. I felt my own faith, a faith in resurrection, rather than death and crucifixion.

In the music – and in my choice of texts – lies a love passion. Not only Christ’s love declaration to all humankind, through crucifixion and resurrection, but also the simple and beautiful love. The passion for the people we love. The passion one feels for the one we love.
— Bent Sørensen

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