Oscar Peterson (piano), David Drew (drums) & Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (Bass)
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The „Easter Suite“ has remained one of the least known compositions by Oscar Peterson, even though virtually all sources mention it as one of his major works. It was commissioned by the South Bank Show, London Weekend Television‘s flagship arts programme, and broadcast nation-wide on Good Friday, April 24th, 1984. Its eight movements follow the events related in the gospel story.
This recording of the world premiere performance also features an interview with Peterson, explaining how he went about composing the suite, his initial scepticism about interpreting such a topic in the medium of jazz and his relation to spiritual music. He also describes in detail the various motifs of the work.
If the passion and resurrection seem surprising as topics for a longer jazz work, Oscar Peterson with his „Easter Suite“ appears in a long line of other jazz greats, who at least in their later works created religiously inspired works.