Wolfgang-Andreas Schultz


Images of Christ - A Symphony for Organ in 5 Tales

The symphony for organ "Images of Christ" stems from experiencing Christianity through the eyes of other religions; when quasi rediscovering Christianity through the "detour" of the practice of other religions. Here these religions are Zen-Buddhism, the spirituality of India, and Shamanism as for example practiced in Korea today. This brought me to the idea of musically telling some biblical stories anew. The perspective of the Asian cultures is represented by sounds reminiscent of their traditional music.

Pastoral – "The Shepherds and the Kings of the East"

Beginning with an occidental character of pastoral and berceuse, the music opens to unfamiliar cultures when the three Kings of the East appear to worship the newborn Christ: a Zen-Buddhist, an Indian sage, and a shaman.

"The Calming of the Storm" – Passacaglia

The theme of the Zen master from the pastoral is transformed into an ostinato that – untouched by the storm above it and the fear of the disciples – is repeated in the bass till the storm is calmed by the word of Christ.

Prelude and Fugue – "The Transfiguration and the Healing of the Possessed Boy"

In the bible these two tales are told directly one after the other. The scene of transfiguration consists of a melody influenced by Indian Ragas and long, static acoustic spaces. The fugue on the other hand depicts the boy with its wild and expressive theme. Developing this further, a Shamanic healing is inserted (which is quite similar to the healing done by Jesus) by sounds reminiscent of Shamanic ritual music from Korea. Finally the Christ theme of the transfiguration scene appears and in the end is combined with the theme of the now healed boy.

"After the Entombment" – Fantasia

The movement starts with the landscape of the crucifixion. After the Christ theme, the ritual of entombment and Christ’s Harrowing of Hell follow which – though mentioned in the Creed – is only described in the Gospel of Nicodemus in the Apocrypha. The Harrowing of Hell shows remarkable resemblance to Shamanic journeys to the underworld as also the Shaman needs to fight with demons and is able to lead the souls to a peaceful place. After victory over Satan, Adam and Eve are saved from their torpor. In the end one turns back towards the earth, to the morning of Easter, and to the Resurrection.

Composed 2012/13
Duration: 41 minutes in total