passion music

passion music

passion music, choral music whose text depicts events immediately surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus. The earliest passions, composed from the 9th to the 14th cent., were monophonic and employed the actual biblical text of one of the four Evangelists. Polyphonic passions originated in England in the 15th cent. After the Reformation, free poetry was added to passion texts. Orchestral accompaniment was used during the baroque period. The genre reached its peak in the baroque period with such works as Schütz's three Dresden passions (1665-66) and J. S. Bach's St. John Passion (1723) and St. Matthew Passion (1729). Not well represented in the 19th and early 20th cent., the genre underwent a revival in the late 20th cent., notably with K. Penderecki's Passio et mors domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum Lucam [Passion according to St. Luke] (1965) and Arvo Pärt's Passio Domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum Joannem [Passion according to St. John] (1982).

See B. Smallman, The Background of Passion Music (2d ed. 1970).

Passion: Music for The Last Temptation of Christ is a musical album released in 1989 by Peter Gabriel. It is his second soundtrack and eighth album overall. It was originally composed as the soundtrack for the film The Last Temptation of Christ, but Gabriel spent several months after the film's release further developing the music, finally releasing it as a full-fledged album instead of a "movie soundtrack". It is seen as a landmark in the popularisation of world music. It was remastered with most of Gabriel's catalogue in 2002.


While music from countries outside the United States and England has certainly flourished, little of it has been heard in the Western world. Passion introduced many listeners to such world-renowned talents as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Youssou N'Dour, L. Shankar, and Baaba Maal, paving the way for these and other musicians to find audiences in America.

As a soundtrack for the film, Gabriel used the resources of the organisation he founded, WOMAD, to bring together musicians from the Middle East and Africa. He worked with them to create a soundtrack meant to enhance the mood of the movie, based upon the actual music played during the time of Jesus. However, he added a modern ambient musical touch to the original pieces, producing a musical work that has influenced many musicians in the years since its release.

The album has received near-universal praise from audiences around the world. Many have called it Gabriel's finest work, and some have said that his later albums (which have all had similarities to Passion) seem muddled in comparison.

Later in the year came a companion album, Passion - Sources, featuring additional songs on which Gabriel does not perform. Gabriel described this album as "a selection of some of the traditional music, sources of inspiration, and location recordings."

The cover art Drawing study for Self Image II (1987) is a mixed media composition by the artist Julian Grater.

Track listing

All compositions written by Peter Gabriel except as indicated in the Personnel section below.

  1. "The Feeling Begins" – 4:00
  2. "Gethsemane" – 1:26
  3. "Of These, Hope" – 3:55
  4. "Lazarus Raised" – 1:26
  5. "Of These, Hope - Reprise" – 2:44
  6. "In Doubt" – 1:33
  7. "A Different Drum" – 4:40
  8. "Zaar" – 4:53
  9. "Troubled" – 2:55
  10. "Open" – 3:27
  11. "Before Night Falls" – 2:18
  12. "With This Love" – 3:40
  13. "Sandstorm" – 3:02
  14. "Stigmata" – 2:28
  15. "Passion" – 7:38
  16. "With This Love - Choir" – 3:20
  17. "Wall Of Breath" – 2:29
  18. "The Promise of Shadows" – 2:13
  19. "Disturbed" – 3:35
  20. "It Is Accomplished" – 2:55
  21. "Bread and Wine" – 2:21


Compositions by Peter Gabriel, with the exception of "Open" (based on an improvisation by L. Shankar and Gabriel) and "Stigmata" (based on improvisation by Mahmoud Tabrizi Zadeh and Gabriel). "Zaar" was written around a traditional Egyptian rhythm which is performed to fend off evil spirits.

  1. The Feeling Begins
  2. : The doudouk is playing an Armenian melody, "The Wind Subsides". (Armenian doudouks recorded for Ocora Records under the direction of Robert Ataian.)
  3. Gethsemane
    • Peter Gabriel - flute samples, flute, voices
  4. Of These, Hope
  5. Lazarus Raised
    • (Players unknown) - Kurdish duduk & tenbur
    • David Rhodes - guitars
    • Peter Gabriel - piano, Akai S900
  6. : This piece incorporates a traditional melody from Kurdistan telling of the unhappy love of a young girl for Bave Seyro, a legendary warrior. (Kurdish duduks are from UNESCO Collection - A Musical Anthology Of The Orient, general editor Alain Danielou for Musicaphon Records.)
  7. Of These, Hope - Reprise
    • Massamba Dlop - talking drum
    • Peter Gabriel - bass, percussion, flute whistle, Prophet 5
    • L. Shankar - double violin
    • David Rhodes - guitar
    • Mustafa Abdel Aziz - arghul drone
    • Baaba Maal - vocals
    • Fatala - additional percussion
  8. In Doubt
  9. A Different Drum
    • Doudou N'Diaye Rose - percussion loop (four bars)
    • Fatala - percussion loop (three bars)
    • Peter Gabriel - surdo, percussion, Audioframe, Prophet 5, voice
    • L. Shankar - double violin
    • Youssou N'Dour - voice
    • David Sancious - backing vocals
  10. Zaar
    • Hossam Ramzy - tambourines, dufs, tabla, finger cymbals, triangle
    • Peter Gabriel - surdo, additional percussion, Audioframe, Akai S900, voice
    • Nathan East - bass
    • David Rhodes - guitar
    • Mahmoud Tabrizi Zadeh - kementché
    • L. Shankar - double violin
  11. Troubled
    • Bill Cobham - drums, percussion
    • Hossam Ramzy - finger cymbals
    • Peter Gabriel - percussion, Fairlight, Emulator, backing vocals
    • David Sancious - backing vocals
  12. Open
    • Peter Gabriel - Prophet 5, Akai S900, vocals
    • L. Shankar - double violin, vocals
  13. Before Night Falls
    • Hossam Ramzy - finger cymbals, tabla, dufs
    • Kudsi Erguner - ney flute (playing a traditional Armenian melody)
    • L. Shankar - double violin
  14. : The Ney flute is playing a traditional Armenian melody.
  15. With This Love
    • Robin Canter - oboe, cor anglais
    • L. Shankar - double violin
    • David Sancious - Akai S900, synthesizer arrangement
    • Peter Gabriel - Audioframe, Fairlight, piano, Prophet 5, synthesizer arrangement
  16. Sandstorm
    • Location Recording - Moroccan percussion & vocals
    • Hossam Ramzy - surdo, tabla, tambourine dufs, mazhar
    • Manu Katché - additional percussion
    • Mahmoud Tabrizi Zadeh - kementché
    • L. Shankar - double violin
    • Peter Gabriel - Fairlight
  17. Stigmata
    • Mahmoud Tabrizi Zadeh - kementché
    • Peter Gabriel - Prophet 5, voice
  18. : Based on an improvisation by Mahmoud and Peter Gabriel
  19. Passion
  20. With This Love - choir
  21. Wall Of Breath
    • Kudsi Erguner - Turkish ney flute
    • L. Shankar - double violin
    • Musicians Du Nil - arghul
    • David Rhodes - Ebow guitar
    • Peter Gabriel - synthesizers
  22. The Promise Of Shadows
    • Bill Cobham - drum kit
    • David Bottrill - lead tambourine
    • Peter Gabriel - Emulator, Prophet 5, Audioframe, additional percussion
    • David Rhodes - guitar
  23. Disturbed
    • Hossam Ramzy - surdo, tabla
    • Mustafa Abdel Aziz - percussion loop
    • Said Mohammad Aly - percussion loop
    • Fatala - African percussion
    • L. Shankar - double violin
    • Peter Gabriel - Fairlight, Prophet 5
  24. It Is Accomplished
    • Bill Cobham - drums, tambourine
    • David Bottrill - tambourine 2, distorted slide
    • Nathan East - bass
    • Mustafa Abdel Aziz - arghul drone
    • David Sancious - Hammond organ
    • David Rhodes - Steinberger guitar
    • Peter Gabriel - doholla, additional percussion, Roland D-50, piano, Prophet 5, voice
  25. Bread And Wine
    • Peter Gabriel - contrabass, Prophet 5, voice
    • David Rhodes - Ebow guitar
    • Richard Evans - tin whistle
    • L. Shankar - double violin



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