Movements: Prima pars: 'In principio erat verbum' / Secunda pars: 'Er war in der Welt' / Tertia pars: 'Erat lux vera' /
Quarta pars: 'Es war ein Mensch' / Quinta pars: 'Et verbum caro factum est'
Instrumentation: 1: 5 male voices (each with a percussion instrument) and organ
2: 6 male voices, cello and percussion quartet
Solo instruments: Violoncello
Text/Lyrics by: Biblical texts (Latin and German/Martin Luther)
Introduction: Two contradicting forms of the text interpretation are confronted: An objective-archaic, almost sparse sound language (inspired by the long-pulled Organa of the Notre Dame epoch) determines the Latin texted parts; a subjective-gestural sound language (under inclusion of technologies of new choral composition) determines the parts in Martin Luther's German text.
Dedication: ...dedicated to die Singphoniker
World premiere: 12.01.1986, Christuskirche Munich
Performers at world premiere: Die Singphoniker (Version I)
Press reviews for world premiere: Münchner Merkur (24.12.1986):
The confrontation of the words from the Johannes Gospel from the Vulgata and in Luther's German should be reflected in the music; on the one hand archaic-sparse, sounded to Organa and Orff, meditative; on the other hand, 'subjective-by gesture', sounded to Penderecki; with excited declaiming, whisper and calls, falsetto and glissandi. At the end a lot of applause for the Singphoniker, for a new colour in the Munich prechristmas programme.
Records: Ambitus, Amb 97876, title: Geistliche Musik für tiefe Stimmen, 1999
Performers on recording: Die Singphoniker, Anja Lechner (cello), Munich College of Music persussion ensemble, direction: Enjott Schneider, recorded in Bavarian Radio Studio I, sound master Wolfgang Graul