Liturgica: Performing the Passion

SOME years ago, I agreed, against my own better judgement, to perform tympani extemporisations during the reading of the Passion on Good Friday. I look back on this with a certain horror, and not just because I am not a trained percussionist.

SOME years ago, I agreed, against my own better judgement, to perform tympani extemporisations during the reading of the Passion on Good Friday. I look back on this with a certain horror, and not just because I am not a trained percussionist. People said that the tympani interludes enhanced the dramatic impact, but my experience as performer was quite distressing. Normally when listening to the Passion, I could empathise with the suffering of Jesus, but this time I had to become a perpetrator, as it were, as vicious as his tormentors.