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Score for orchestra, soloists and chorus composed by Wilfried Kaets

This cinematic version is projected at historically correct speed and in original format on a large screen. Newly translated German intertitles are projected on a separate screen.

Wilfried Kaets has composed a new score for an ensemble including orchestra, soloists, percussion, piano, cembalo, organ and chorus.

The score fulfils its specific dramaturgical function as the connecting element between the on-screen images and the music.
It substitutes for dialogue and sound effects, filling the silence; it joins the picture sequences like chapters in a book, supporting the interior and exterior action (creating atmosphere, reproducing emotions, capturing mood and enabling, for example, the anticipation of upcoming events).
Music is the adequate “backdrop” for bringing this soundless two-dimensional “enormity” to life. It lends “reality” to the emotions experienced and expressed on-screen.

The music has been dramaturgically tailored to fit the scenes:

  • with a dynamic build-up of tension and scenic details,
  • by forming an ordered path through the structure and content of the story line, and
  • by utilizing the full palette of harmonic-melodic, rhythmic, tone color and dynamic elements available.

Kaets chooses, for instance, a finely distilled, breathing “musical trinity” of unison timbres – Soprano (oral), flute (labial) and clarinet (lingual) – to represent the character of Jesus.

Unadorned “middle-class” compositions – simple melody, harmony and rhythm – (e.g., Jesus sitting with children in the garden) alternate with, at times, a highly abrasive dense scoring, which makes use of every available resource from the ensemble (e.g., during the crucifixion sequence).

On one hand the music should always be easily accessible (e.g., inducing a feeling of grief or abandonment in the viewer), but it also stretches the limits of its compositional structure decidedly: changing (lengthening) imperceptibly, for instance, the meter every time Jesus performs a miracle. Jesus and his actions are from another world and can change this world and our perception of it.

A recurring central theme from chorus and orchestra is the “lux calida – salvator mundi” (warm light – saviour of the world). It is the audible expression of Jesus’ luminous and healing countenance, setting the beams of light and their warm glowing reflections to music.

Participants in the premier, 2007:

A cooperative cultural project of the Church of St. Rochus and the Rochus Music School e.V. (RMS)

Rochus Choir 

Suzanne Thorp: Soprano (Instructor RMS)
Norbert Rodenkirchen: Flute
Peter Junk: Clarinet (Instructor RMS)
Matthias Haarmann: Concert Organ
Steffen Paesler: Piano (Instructor RMS))
Thomas Roß: Cembalo
Norbert Krämer: Percussion (Instructor RMS)
Ralf Kurley: Percussion (Instructor RMS)
1. Violins:  Ljuba Jovanovic (Instructor RMS)
Takahashi Chizuko; Volha Hanchar; Svetlana Straub
2. Violins: Beate Kleinert; Alexander Eger;
Jonathan Kleinert
Viola: Tobias Röthlin; Irina Baiteriakova
Cello: Christophe Corazolla, n.n.
Contrabass: Marco Göhre

Silent film and monitor engineer: Joachim Steinigeweg
Intertitle presentation: Matthias Delahaye, Raphael Kaets
Light engineer: Thomas Roß
Sound engineer: Jan Philipp Knaak (Instructor RMS)