Penderecki’s St Luke Passion takes as its model the Passions of Bach, the events leading up to the Crucifixion related in an ongoing sequence of narratives, arias and choruses. Its stark simplicity and directness attracted worldwide attention and it was quickly performed many times in Europe and the USA. For many, here at last was a piece of contemporary music which made an immediate emotional impact, and the use of contemporary compositional techniques served only to reinforce the dramatic power of the work. In 1964 West German Radio commissioned a large-scale choral work to commemorate the seven hundredth anniversary of the consecration of Munster Cathedral: the Passio et mors Domini nostri Iesu Christi secundum Lucam, to give Penderecki’s St Luke Passion its full Latin title, was the outcome. That the year of its première on 30th March 1966 also marked the thousandth anniversary of the introduction of Christianity into Poland, is a fact of which Penderecki must have been well aware.