The Gospel of Judas, discovered and deciphered in the 21st century, had been long considered irrevocably lost. Although scientists proved the manuscript’s historic authenticity, the Christian church would hardly accept it more than an apocryphal work because of Judas, whose personality is interpreted rather extraordinary.
Judas’ character did not stop stirring minds of Ernest Renan, Jorje Borjes, Mikhail Bulgakov, Leonid Andreyev. Literary men were attracted by Judas’ spiritual pains; he was something different from other disciples.
The Gospels of Judas describes him as Jesus’ favourite follower, able to understand and to love more than others. Even his betrayal is committed in accordance with Jesus himself: thus the highest God’s destination is fulfilled by Judas, doomed to eternal forsakenness and condemnation.
The composer Alexander Radvilovich was the first to express theme in music. As the Gospel of Judas is not completed, Radvilovich resorts to Leonid Andreyev’s well-known story “Judas Iscariot” in the finale. The composer considers the title “Gospel of Judas” to be rather inexact, for unlike canonic gospels of (Mathew, Mark, Lucas and Johann) the narration is given on behalf of anonymous evangelist. That’s why Radvilovich called this musical interpretation of apocryphal text “Judas’ Passions”, adhering meanwhile to everything peculiar for classical passions. Among the characters are Jesus, Judas, and anonymous narrator. Choir acts simultaneously as Jesus’ disciples and crowd. Orchestra means are most significant here.
The ancient text lacks any mention of post-betrayal events, i. e. flogging, cross bearing, crucifixion and resurrection. These most important elements are depicted by the orchestra, imbibing the whole composition.