flute, violin, cello, double bass, piano and percussion

Premiere: February 26, 2013, Montréal / Nouvelles Musiques 2013: Au-dessus de l’horizon, Théâtre Rouge — Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, Montréal (Québec)

The inspiration for this work is an ancient codex of The Gospel of Judas, discovered in Egypt in the 1970s. This document generated enormous debate between various religious and cultural authorities. Indeed, its contents differ from the conventionally accepted Christian version of Judas Iscariot’s story. The Gospel of Judas, considered apocryphal for some and mainstream for others, attracted me greatly and recalled an important aspect of Mexican culture: the parallelism between the Spanish Catholic tradition and the former native polytheism, present even in modern-day Mexico. The text discovered in Egypt connects to ancient Mexican culture. The death of Jesus is presented as being a glorious sacrifice to illuminate humanity, similar to that of the Aztec deity Nanahuatzin jumping into the sacrificial fire to give rise to the fifth sun. However, contrary to Nanahuatzin, Jesus could not commit suicide. He thus asked the most trusted and beloved of his apostles, to execute the task which only he could carry out. Jesus asked Judas to denounce him to the authorities so that his fate could be realized. In doing so, Judas also sacrificed himself, forever exemplifying the ultimate traitor. Through the music El evangelio de Judas depicts how Jesus and Judas form an indivisible whole. Jesus does not totally represent light and Judas, darkness. Both sacrificed themselves to enlighten humanity: one in glory and light, on the cross; the other one in darkness, hanging.

Traduction Peggy Niloff [v-13]