Performed by the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir with various soloists, and composed in 1969-1970, Jutrznia I (Utrenya I: The Entombment of Christ) is a magnificent contemporary oratorio in five parts for two mixed choirs, five solo voices and symphony orchestra is a spine-tingling evocation of deep religious and otherworldly experience; the text is taken from Old Church Slavic writings concerning the Russian Orthodox liturgy of Great Saturday and Vespers of Good Friday. The elegant choral and orchestral material consists of tone clusters with major/minor chords embedded in them, wordless drones, chants in the rhythmically repeated chord style of the Russian Orthodox Church and ecstatic reaching for the highest notes in the soloists' range. Whispered speaking, percussive and brass punctuations, random rushing sounds, steely bow cymbal sustains, and more, take us into an inter-dimensional world of boundless interior and exterior. The second part of the diptych (of which Utrenya I: The Entombment of Christ is the first part), Jutrznia II (Utrenya II: The Resurrection of Christ), composed during 1970-71, is for five vocal soloists, boys choir, two mixed choirs and symphony orchestra. In contrast to Utrenya I, this work is one of unrestrained joy and wonder, the spirit of a more earthy world of two thousand years ago projected onto a contemporary landscape of cosmic dimensions. A remarkable and moving set of works.
To celebrate the 80th birthday of the composer, DUX Recordings presents Krzysztof Penderecki symphonies conducted by the maestro himself. Penderecki’s symphonies have a special place in composer’s legacy as they have never been recorded in a series before under the artistic direction of the maestro. Penderecki said that the DUX recordings present the best performances of his works and therefore making the series even more appealing. This very special project is presented for the first time as a box set, at a very special price.
This beautifully programmed CD presents three settings for viola and orchestra and a more eloquent statement about the beauty of the viola as an instrument would be hard to imagine (except for perhaps including Vaughan Williams' 'Flos Campi'). The viola finds that middle voice between violin and cello, a rich tone with a built in quality of mournfulness. That quality has inspired the works on this recording and the result is some of the more wistful music ever written. Dennis Russell Davies conducts the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra with the superb violist Kim Kashkashian.
Penderecki's international recognition began in 1959 at the Warsaw Autumn with the premieres of the works Strophen, Psalms of David, and Emanations, but the piece that truly brought him to international attention was Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, written for 52 string instruments. Penderecki's compositions include operas, symphonies, choral works, as well as chamber and instrumental music. He has won many prestigious awards including Grammy Awards in 1987 and 1998 and 2001, and the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition in 1992.
This wonderful young Polish ensemble continue their exploration of the string quartet repertoire of their homeland with this album of music by two giants of the twentieth century. Witold Lutoslawski, whose centenary is celebrated in 2013, wrote his one and only string quartet in 1964 and it has since maintained an eminent position in the international repertoire. Krzysztof Penderecki (born 1933) was the most talked-about Polish composer in the early 1960s and remains an important presence in contemporary music. His three string quartets (1960, 1968 and 2008) are key works in the history of the post-war Polish quartet.
Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima (Tren ofiarom Hiroszimy in Polish) is a musical composition for 52 string instruments, composed in 1959 by Krzysztof Penderecki (b. 1933), which took third prize at the Grzegorz Fitelberg Composers' Competition in Katowice in 1960. The piece swiftly aroused tremendous interest around the world and made its young composer famous. The piece—originally called 8'37" (at times also 8'26")—applies the sonoristic technique and rigors of specific counterpoint to an ensemble of strings treated unconventionally in terms of tone production. "While reading the score," Tadeusz Zielinski wrote in 1961, "one may admire Penderecki's inventiveness and coloristic ingeniousness. Yet one cannot rightly evaluate the Threnody until it has been listened to, for only then does one face the amazing fact: all these effects have turned out to serve as a pretext to conceive a profound and dramatic work of art!" Indeed, the piece tends to leave an impression both solemn and catastrophic, earning its classification as a threnody. On October 12, 1964, Penderecki wrote, "Let the Threnody express my firm belief that the sacrifice of Hiroshima will never be forgotten and lost."
The two works on this recording are separated by 35 years, during which time Penderecki made a decisive break with the post-war European avant-garde. In the Magnificat, chilling instrumental clusters, spectral sounds and impassioned rhetoric unite with tonality and counterpoint to deliver a work of monumental emotional power. Written to mark the 65th anniversary of the end of the Jewish ghetto in Łódź, Kadisz is among the most distinctive of Penderecki’s later choral works in the stark contrasts between drama and sombre reflection of its individual sections.