Classical The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. Sat, 27 Feb 2021 02:42:23 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Krzysztof Penderecki & Don Cherry – Actions (2001) Krzysztof Penderecki & Don Cherry – Actions (2001)

1 Hums - The Life Exploring Force (18:57) 
2 Sita Rama Encores (4:30) 
3 Actions For Free Jazz Orchestra (16:31)

Krzysztof Penderecki - Conductor 
Han Bennink - Percussion, Drums, Tabla, Piano (Thumb), Wood Block 
Peter Brötzmann - Sax (Bass), Sax (Tenor) 
Gunter Hampel - Flute, Clarinet (Bass) 
Albert Mangelsdorff - Trombone 
Terje Rypdal - Guitar 
Kenny Wheeler - Trumpet, Cornet 
Willem Breuker - Clarinet, Sax (Tenor) 
Gerd Dudek - Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor) 
Manfred Schoof - Trumpet, Cornet 
Tomasz Stanko - Trumpet, Cornet 
Peter Warren - Bass, E-Bow 
Fred Van Hove - Organ, Piano 
Mocqui Cherry - Tamboura 
Buschi Niebergall - Bass 
Joachim Berendt - Producer, Liner Notes 
Dieter Wegner - Remastering 
Sanna Nьbold - Design 
Don Cherry & Ed Blackwell - Flute, Arranger, Vocals, Adaptation, Pocket Trumpet, Wood Flute.


This recording documents a live performance at the Donaueschingen Music Festival in 1971, but the co-crediting is somewhat misleading. While the New Eternal Rhythm Orchestra (named for Cherry's magnificent album from a few years prior, Eternal Rhythm) appears throughout, the first two pieces are by Cherry, the last by Penderecki. The two "principals" don't actually come into contact with each other. The orchestra is truly an all-star cast of the cream of European improvisers, each and every one having gone on to significant achievements. Cherry's "Humus - The Life Exploring Force" is a suite not too dissimilar to those he performed on both Eternal Rhythm and the ensuing Relativity Suite (including an early version of "Desireless"), ranging from raga-inspired lines to bluesy refrains, to jaunty modal riffs. If the performance is a little on the ragged side and if vocalist Loes Macgillycutty proves somewhat overbearing, it more than makes up for it in enthusiasm and joy. This is followed by a brief encore in which Cherry gets the audience to sing along on a complex (for Westerners) Indian scale; it's quite enchanting before exploding into a short, orchestral free-for-all. Penderecki's "Actions for Free Jazz Orchestra" is another kettle of fish entirely. The composer had often used jazz elements in his previous works, though always sublimated to his overall classical (if avant-garde) direction. Here, he makes a good attempt to meet this "foreign" genre halfway, allowing the orchestra much latitude for improvisation while supplying dark and brooding borders to keep things corralled. The problem is, that's basically all there is to the piece: alternating written parts (fine in and of themselves) and free improv (also energetically performed) with little to conceptually bind them. It's not a bad performance by any means, and is of some degree of historical import if only to document a relatively rare meeting of the jazz and classical avant-garde, but it doesn't quite hold together as a solid work. Fans of Cherry, though, will definitely want to own this disc as a significant addition to his stellar work of the late '60s and early '70s. ---Brian Olewnick, Rovi

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]]> (bluesever) Penderecki Krzysztof Sun, 25 Oct 2009 12:56:41 +0000
Krzysztof Penderecki - Music for Chamber Orchestra (2008) Krzysztof Penderecki - Music for Chamber Orchestra (2008)

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01.Adagietto from Paradise Lost
02.Chaconne in memoria del Giovanni Paolo II
03.Agnus Dei from Requiem
04.Intermezzo for 24 strings
05.De profundis from Seven Gates of Jerusalem
06.Serenade for string orchestra I. Passacaglia
07.Serenade for string orchestra II.Larghetto
08.3 Pieces in Baroque Style I. Aria
09.3 Pieces in Baroque Style II.Menuetto I
10.3 Pieces in Baroque Style III.Menuetto II
11.Sinfonietta per archi I.Allegro molto
12.Sinfonietta per archi II.Vivace
Albrecht Mayer - english horn Jakub Haufa - violin Artur Paciorkiewicz - viola jerzy Klocek - cello Sinfonia Varsovia
Krzysztof Penderecki – conductor


As one of the most significant figures of modernism, Krzysztof Penderecki is immediately associated in the public mind with his groundbreaking compositions, Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima, St. Luke Passion, and De Natura Sonoris I and II, which were among the most innovative and challenging works of the 1960s and '70s. However, Penderecki adopted a neo-Romantic style that has dominated his music from the late '70s onward, and many of his pieces were composed for strings or small orchestra and last under 10 minutes. This 2008 album by Penderecki and the Varsovia Symphony Orchestra explores some of his music from 1963 to 2005. There is one example of music from his avant-garde period, namely the Intermezzo for 24 strings (1973), which is a study of close-knit contrapuntal repetitions of short figures. Other than that, the music is fairly conventional in harmony and stylistically quite accessible to most listeners. The Pieces (3) in Baroque Style date from 1963 and may have the strongest appeal to casual classical listeners, but they are pastiches of 18th century style and have an artificial quality, unlike the rest of the selections that are recognizably Penderecki's from their predominantly minor-key tonality and brooding lyricism. Highlights of the album include the Chaconne in Memory of John Paul II, "De Profundis" from Seven Gates of Jerusalem, the Serenade for string orchestra, and the Sinfonietta per archi, which all give a balanced impression of Penderecki's expressive musical language and eclectic ideas in his post-modern phase. ---Blair Sanderson, Rovi

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]]> (bluesever) Penderecki Krzysztof Sun, 18 Jul 2010 12:26:47 +0000
Krzysztof Penderecki - Polskie Requiem (1986) Krzysztof Penderecki - Polskie Requiem (1986)

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    1. Requiem Aeternam : Requiem Aeternam Dona Eis(3'52) 	
    2. Kyrie : Kyrie Eleison(4'34) 
    3. Dies Irae : Dies Irae, Dies Illa(1'41) 
    4. Dies Irae : Tuba Mirum Spargens Sonum(1'48) 
    5. Dies Irae : Mors Stupebit Et Natura(6'08) 	
    6. Dies Irae : Quid Sum Miser Tunc Dicturus?(4'26) 
    7. Dies Irae : Rex Tremendae Majestatis(2'02) 	
    8. Dies Irae : Recordare Jesu Pie(10'49) 
    9. Dies Irae : Ingemisco Tamquam Reus(11'12) 
   10 Dies Irae : Lacrimosa Die Silla(5'18) 
   11 Agnus Dei, Qui Tollis Peccata Mundi(8'24) 	
   12 Lux Aeterna, Luceat Eis(4'26) 
   13 Libera Me Domine, De Morte Eterna(8'37) 
   14 Swiety Boze(5'14)
   15 Libera animas(6'11)

Mariana Nicolesco - soprano
Grazyna Winogrodzka – alto
Henryk Grychnik – tenor
Leonard Mroz - bass
Choeur et Orchestre de la la Philarmonie de Cracovie
Krzysztof Penderecki – conductor

Live recording France musique 11/2/1986 in Saint-Eustache-Paris


It all began with Lacrimosa, a several-minute-long lament for a soprano voice, choir, and orchestra, which Krzysztof Penderecki composed on the request of Lech Wa³êsa. The work was presented on 16th December 1980 in Gdañsk at the unveiling of the monument to the shipyard workers murdered 10 years earlier by communists. Asked about the world premiere, the composer reminisces: “It was an extraordinary experience. The concert, or rather the playing of the recording of my piece was just a small part of the ceremony. A million people were reportedly gathered at the foot of the monument in falling sleet. With weather conditions like that, the spotlights provided uncanny lighting. A few days later, Lech Wa³êsa phoned me saying “Mr Composer, your colleagues refused, would you agree to write a piece for the ceremony of the unveiling of the monument to the murdered shipyard workers?” They refused because they were afraid; the event was not favourably looked upon by the powers that be. I agreed, and wrote Lacrimosa in the matter of just a few days. Antoni Wit recorded it with the Polish Radio Choir and Orchestra in Kraków, with Jadwiga Go dulanka as the soloist, and the recording was played in Gdañsk.

Several minutes long, highly melancholic and lyrical, Lacrimosa with its memorable introduction of the soprano became the germ of the monumental – in terms of both form and content – Polish Requiem, one of the most extraordinary pieces in not only the oeuvre of Krzysztof Penderecki, but also the history of Polish music. There is no other work that is so strongly bound to the historical and political context and the time when it originated. The symbolic layer was emphasised with significant dedications, binding the ideas of the successive movements to specific events. The Polish Requiem was years in the making, gradually taking its final shape. Even long after composing Lacrimosa, Penderecki did not intend to include it in a greater whole, even though – as he repeatedly admitted – the idea of writing a funeral mass came about in his head much earlier. Laughing, he recalls that at the time he was afraid of the superstition that, much like in the case of Mozart, the Requiem could become the last of his pieces. He was waiting for an appropriate moment, and lo and behold the political situation in Poland of the early 1980s made him decide on a mass. “And I succeeded in surviving my Requiem,” the composer says.


Zaczęło się od Lacrimosy, kilkuminutowego lamentu na głos sopranowy, chór i orkiestrę, który Krzysztof Penderecki skomponował na prośbę Lecha Wałęsy. Utwór zaprezentowano 16 grudnia 1980 roku w Gdańsku z okazji odsłonięcia pomnika stoczniowców zamordowanych przez komunistów 10 lat wcześniej. Kompozytor, pytany o prawykonanie, wspomina: – To było niezwykłe przeżycie. Koncert, a właściwie odtworzenie nagrania mojego utworu było tylko fragmentem uroczystości. Pod pomnikiem zebrał się podobno milion osób, padał deszcz ze śniegiem, reflektory dawały przy tej pogodzie niesamowite światło. Kilka dni wcześniej zadzwonił do mnie Lech Wałęsa: „Panie kompozytorze, inni pana koledzy odmówili, czy pan zgodzi się napisać utwór na uroczystość odsłonięcia pomnika poległych stoczniowców?”. Odmówili, bo się bali, to nie było wydarzenie dobrze widziane przez władze. Ja się zgodziłem i napisałem Lacrimosę dosłownie w ciągu kilku dni. Antoni Wit nagrał ją z Chórem i Orkiestrą Polskiego Radia w Krakowie, z Jadwigą Gadulanką jako solistką i to właśnie nagranie odtworzono w Gdańsku

Kilkuminutowa, pełna melancholii i liryczna Lacrimosa, z zapadającą w pamięć introdukcją sopranu, stała się zaczątkiem monumentalnego w formie i treści Polskiego Requiem, jednego z najbardziej niezwykłych utworów – nie tylko w dorobku Krzysztofa Pendereckiego, ale i w historii polskiej muzyki. Nie ma drugiego dzieła tak bardzo związanego z kontekstem historyczno-politycznym i czasem, w którym powstawało. Warstwa symboliczna podkreślona została znaczącymi dedykacjami, wiążącymi ideę kolejnych części z konkretnymi wydarzeniami. Polskie Requiem powstawało latami, stopniowo nabierając pełnego kształtu. Jeszcze długo po skomponowaniu Lacrimosy Penderecki nie myślał o włączeniu jej w większe dzieło, choć – jak wielokrotnie przyznawał – pomysł napisania mszy żałobnej pojawił się w jego głowie dużo wcześniej. Wspomina z humorem, że obawiał się wtedy przesądu, iż podobnie jak w przypadku Mozarta, requiem mogłoby stać się ostatnim z jego utworów. Czekał na odpowiedni moment, i oto sytuacja polityczna w Polsce na początku lat 80. sprawiła, że zdecydował się na mszę. – Udało mi się przeżyć moje Requiem – mówi kompozytor. ---

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]]> (bluesever) Penderecki Krzysztof Sat, 22 Jun 2013 16:07:09 +0000
Krzysztof Penderecki - Utrenja (Markowski) [2011] Krzysztof Penderecki - Utrenja (Markowski) [2011]

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01. I. The Entombment of Christ - 1. Troparion    [0:05:38.63]
02. I. The Entombment of Christ - 2. Velichanye    [0:18:05.12]
03. I. The Entombment of Christ - 3. Irmos    [0:06:12.33]
04. I. The Entombment of Christ - 4. Ne ryday mene, Mati    [0:02:36.32]
05. I. The Entombment of Christ - 5. Stichira    [0:08:14.13]

Delfina Ambroziak – soprano
Krystyna Szczepańska - mezzo-soprano
Kazimierz Pustelak - tenor 
Włodzimierz Denysenko - bass 
Boris Carmeli - basso profondo
Warsaw National Philharmonic Choir
Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra
Andrzej Markowski - conductor

06. 2. The Ressurection - 6. Gospel Reading    [0:02:19.14]
07. 2. The Ressurection - 7. Stichira    [0:07:13.01]
08. 2. The Ressurection - 8. Psalm with Paschal troparion    [0:08:27.13]
09. 2. The Ressurection - 9. Paschal canon I    [0:03:42.29]
10. 2. The Ressurection - 10. Paschal canon II    [0:02:48.02]
11. 2. The Ressurection - 11. Kontakion    [0:02:51.48]
12. 2. The Ressurection - 12. oikos    [0:01:18.15]
13. 2. The Ressurection - 13. Paschal canon    [0:06:11.65]

Stefania Woytowicz - soprano 
Krystyna Szczepańska - mezzo-soprano 
Kazimierz Pustelak - tenor 
Bernard Ładysz – bass
Peter Lagger - basso profondo
Warsaw National Philharmonic Choir
Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra
Andrzej Markowski – conductor


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. --- "Blue" Gene Tyranny, Rovi


Kolejne po przełomowej Pasji wg św. Łukasza monumentalne dzieło sakralne Krzysztofa Pendereckiego - Jutrznia na dwa głosy żeńskie, trzy męskie, chór i orkiestrę.

Kompozycja składa się z dwóch oddzielnie skomponowanych części: Złożenia Chrystusa do grobu i Zmartwychwstania. Obie powstały na zamówienie radia Westdeutscher Rundfunk - pierwsza w 1970 roku, druga rok później, jednak zawsze traktowane są łącznie i tak też wykonywane. Wraz z Pasją tworzą one tryptyk, którego tematem są wydarzenia Triduum Paschalnego. Jutrznia inspirowana jest prawosławną liturgią Wielkiej Soboty, która koncentruje się na opłakiwaniu śmierci Chrystusa i świętowaniu zmartwychwstania podczas Jutrzni Paschalnej, czyli nabożeństwa odprawianego w poranek Wielkiej Nocy.

Starocerkiewne, liturgiczne teksty wyraził Penderecki muzyką niezwykle poruszającą, będącą kombinacją czystego stylu a cappella z awangardowymi efektami sonorystycznymi w rozbudowanej partii orkiestry z powiększoną perkusją i instrumentami dętymi. ---

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]]> (bluesever) Penderecki Krzysztof Sat, 28 May 2011 10:07:23 +0000
Krzysztof Penderecki – Complete Cello Concertos (2006) Krzysztof Penderecki – Complete Cello Concertos (2006)

Arto Noras – cello
Sinfonia Varsovia – Sinfonia Varsovia

01. Concerto For Cello And Orchestra No. 1 (1967 - 1972) 
02. Concerto For Cello And Orchestra No. 2 (1982) 
03. Concerto For Viola And Chamber Orchestra (1983)

Arto Noras – cello
Sinfonia Varsovia
Krzysztof Penderecki - conductor


Penderecki's First Cello Concerto - its startlingly atmospheric opening used to dramatic effect in the soundtrack to 'The Exorcist' - is an impressively gripping score, leaving a resonance in the memory quite out of proportion to its modest dimensions. The Second, composed in Penderecki's smoochy, neo-Romantic idiom, is less memorable though is well crafted. If it has not made the same mark on the modern repertoire, this is due to the riches of the modern cello concerto and this makes it curious why adapting the lovely Viola Concerto - written as he moved from avant gardism to post-modernism - onto the cello would be thought a good idea. It is only likely to deflect attention away from Penderecki's two numbered concertos!

Arto Noras is a player I have admired for decades and his rich tone and lyrical impulse and is heard at his best in the Second Concerto and Viola Concerto arrangement. In the First, his fine performance does not match Siegfried Palm's pioneering original account. A reissue, Warner's sound is fine. ---Mr. Guy Rickards,

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]]> (bluesever) Penderecki Krzysztof Sun, 25 Oct 2009 12:31:01 +0000
Krzysztof Penderecki – Concerto for Violin & Orchestra No. 2 'Metamorphosen' (1998) Krzysztof Penderecki – Concerto for Violin & Orchestra No. 2 'Metamorphosen' (1998)

01. Metamorphosen, Konzert für Violine und Orchester Nr. 2 - 1. Allegro ma non troppo 
02. Metamorphosen, Konzert für Violine und Orchester Nr. 2 - 2. Allegretto
03. Metamorphosen, Konzert für Violine und Orchester Nr. 2 - 3. Molto
04. Metamorphosen, Konzert für Violine und Orchester Nr. 2 - 4. Vivace
05. Metamorphosen, Konzert für Violine und Orchester Nr. 2 - 5. Scherzando
06. Metamorphosen, Konzert für Violine und Orchester Nr. 2 - 6. Andante con moto

Anne-Sophie Mutter - violin
London Symphony Orchestra
Krzysztof Penderecki – conductor


Penderecki, one of the leading Central European composers of the last half of the twentieth century, had two distinctive and very contrastinc stylistic periods. The avant-garde first period began cascades of sound, thumps, shrieks, and other outbursts the explored the middle ground between pure noise and music. He then seemed to trace music history backwards, applying twelve-tone organizing principles. After that he became fascinated with the sounds of the late tonal era, highly chromatic, post Wagnerian music with definite tonality and usually a very dark mood. This second major period of his work lasted a good deal of the 1970s. Since the mid 1980s he explored ways to mixing both styles. The concerto, then uses a tonal, romantic idiom as its backbone, allowing for a flowing and logically related form (twelve-tone procedures also feature in the structure). But over it we hear the once-shocking string sounds of his avant-garde period: swooping glissandi, grinding dissonances, clicks and taps from the bow; all this plus brutal percussion outbursts.

It is in a lengthy single-movement form at nearly forty minutes. Its main divisions are noted in a list of "movements" accompanying this article and conform to the access points provided in the Deutsche Grammophon world premiere CD. That recording was made by the work's dedicatee and first performer, Anne-Sophie Mutter. The first performance also included the Central German Radio Orchestra conducted by Mariss Jansons. By comparison with the dark-toned Violin Concerto no 1, this is a lighter and more elegant work. An opening section (punctuated by long silences or by gong-strokes) announces the main motive, a rising chromatic line that turns and falls by a minor third. There follows a vast structure whose complex interrelationships and dramatic progression could be painstakingly detailed. In summary, it unites an astonishing variety of textures of moods, from piston-driven motoric passages to soaring lyricism (which dominates the central part of the piece and returns like an echo at the end. Violence and tranquility; romance and bitter irony all somehow coexist. Purely tonal music alternates with passages of sheer tone-color. It is a work that repays (in fact, demands) repeated close listening. It is also a work that gives the average listener rather too much to digest at first hearing. ---Joseph Stevenson, Rovi

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]]> (bluesever) Penderecki Krzysztof Sun, 25 Oct 2009 12:46:43 +0000
Krzysztof Penderecki – Credo (2000) Krzysztof Penderecki – Credo (2000)

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1. Credo: I. Credo In Unum Deum
2. Credo: II. Qui Propter Nos Homines - III. Et Incarnatus Est
3. Credo: IV. Crucifixus
4. Credo: V. Et Resurrexit Tertia Die
5. Credo: VI. Et In Spiritum Sanctum - V. Et Vitam Venturi Saeculi

Milagro Vargas (Mezzo Soprano)
Thomas Quasthoff (Bass)
Thomas Randle (Tenor)
Juliane Banse (Soprano)
Marietta Simpson (Mezzo Soprano) 
Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra And Choir
Helmuth Rilling – conductor


In a world of recycled classics and countless renditions of chant, it's difficult to find something brand new to get excited about. But Penderecki's 1998 Credo is such a work, a masterpiece that should draw serious attention from all choral-music enthusiasts. This isn't only a choral piece, but a magnificently well-integrated work for soloists, choirs, and orchestra reminiscent of both the lean-textured clarity of Stravinsky and the most powerful orchestral utterances of Beethoven and Brahms. However, the Credo is not a montage of borrowed styles; it's an original and accessible work that vividly illuminates the meaning of this revered text. Although some patented Penderecki devices appear (ensemble speech, unusual percussive effects), Credo is notable for its more conventional use of harmony and melody. For centuries composers have sought to avoid or truncate the lengthy Credo text. Here, one of the 20th century's masters shows how to bring the words to life while successfully sustaining the musical momentum. The performance, by those for whom the work was commissioned, is an exemplary mix of beautiful choral sound and virtuoso orchestral playing. ---David Vernier,


Commissioned by the Internationale Bachakademie in Stuttgart and the Oregon Bach Festival, the text for Penderecki's Credo is based on the standard Latin version of the Nicene Creed, and is scored for five soloists (SSATB), boys' choir, mixed choir, and orchestra. It was completed and premiered in 1998.

Penderecki at first sketched ideas for the various parts of the standard Mass but the Credo section, an integral part of the Mass placed between the Gospel and the Offertory since 798, had "gone beyond the dimensions I had planned." Like Bach and Beethoven, Penderecki decided to set the entire Credo secton: "The Credo is the most important text ... Every idea in the Mass is included here."

Penderecki wrote his first large scale religious work in 1966 with the Passion According to St. Luke. That year was significant in Poland as the thousandth anniversary of Poland's acceptance of Christianity in its Roman form by King Miesko, which pointed their culture toward the West in opposition to the Eastern Orthodox influences. Penderecki continues his commitment to religious creations: "Since I am a Christian and compose as a Christian, I must write another major religious work ... Looking at other composers of our time, there is only one--Olivier Messiaen--who has written as much music on sacred texts. This is my task!"

Penderecki divided his Credo into five sections, like Beethoven, and also included eight interpolations. Throughout this work Penderecki calls upon compositional techniques and styles of roughly the last 250 years in quest of a universalist style that may appeal to wide audiences. Similar endeavors by Górecki, Andriessen, Pärt and others have been referred to as the New Religiosity, or the New Romanticism. For example, in the first section "Credo in Unum Deum" (I Believe in one God), the choir enters in unison with a Gregorian chant-style line that immediately becomes powerfully harmonized in a fully tonal Romantic manner. This continues until after the words "et in unum Dominum Jesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum ... " (I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, only-begotten Son of God). A baritone solo then enters against chromatically modulating chords with the words "et ex patre natum ante omnia saecula" (born of the Father before time began). The choir gradually brings the tonality back to the minor key as in the beginning.

II. "Qui propter nos homines" (He for us people, and for our salvation, came down from heaven) is built from ascending and descending chromatic lines which perfectly describe the image.

III. "Et incarnatus est" (And was incarnate by the Holy Spirit) continues the chromatics, but suddenly breaks into a light-hearted, spirited and joyful "Ex Maria Virgine. Et homo factus est." (from the Virgin Mary and was made man).

IV. The "Crucifixus" is more somber in tone and employs more advanced harmonies than the previous sections. This section includes four interpolations: the "Crux fidelis" (Faithful cross, above all other), the "Pange lingua" (Sing, O tongue, the glorious battle), two Polish liturgical hymns, and the German chorale "Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir (Out of the depths, I cry to thee).

V. "Et Resurrexit Tertia Die" is both rhythmically punctuated and mysterious.

VI. "Et in Spiritum Sanctum" beautifully combines the previous chromatic lines and tonality in a transcendent feeling of heavenly flight. There are also brief quasi-random speech passages, like Penderecki's 60s style, and rich twelve-tone tension.

VII. "Et Vitam Venturi Saeculi" (and the life of the world to come) approaches the final major "Amen" chord by gradually ascending dramatic pleas. --- "Blue" Gene Tyranny, Rovi

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]]> (bluesever) Penderecki Krzysztof Fri, 14 Mar 2014 17:07:34 +0000
Krzysztof Penderecki – Die Teufel von Loudun (Janowski) [1970] Krzysztof Penderecki – Die Teufel von Loudun (Janowski) [1970]

Disk: 1
1. Ich will einen Weg finden
2. Wollen wir zusammen gehen?
3. Sag mir, warum kommst du zu mir?
4. Dieser Menschenkopf erfüllt mich mit Erwartung
5. Ich bin hier als Sonderkommissär
6. Wir sind alle froh, Vater Mignon
7. Ich konnte aus der Priorin weiter nichts herausbringen
8. Bitte, lieber Gott
9. Exorcizo te
10. Ihr wißt, daß Euer Name
11. Liebe Schwester in Christo
12. Das war ein unschuldiges Frauenzimmer
13. Was gibt es?
14. Mir ist heut' abend der Eintritt ins Kloster verwehrt worden
15. Mutter ...
16. D'Armagnac, seit Ihr es
17. Man sagt, Ihr waret nicht wahrhaft von Dämonen besessen
18. Alleuia. Cedant tenebrae lumini
Disk: 2
1. Habt Ihr geschlafen?
2. Guten Morgen, ihr Herren
3. Urbain Grsandier, Ihr seid schuldig befunden
4. Kommt hinein, teure Mutter
5. Wollt Ihr gestehen?
6. Mein Sohn ...
7. Dicas! Dicas! 

Jeanne			Tatiana Troyanos (Mezzosoprano)
Urbain Grandier		Andrzej Hiolski (Tenor)
Vater Barre		Bernard Ladysz (Bass)
Vater Rangier		Hans Sotin  (Bass)
Vaer Mignon		Horst Wilhelm  (Tenor)
Adam			Kurt Marschner  (Tenor)
Mannoury		Heins Blankenburg  (Baritone)
Baron Laubardemont	Helmut Melchert (Tenor)

Chor und Orchester der Hamburgischen Staatsoper
Marek Janowski - conductor


Under the forward-thinking, often risk-taking regime of Rolf Liebermann—from 1959 to 1973—the Hamburg State Opera premiered many new works. Furthermore, Liebermann took 13 of his productions into the studio to be filmed for television. (Remember when television was regarded as an exciting medium for opera?) One of these was Penderecki’s controversial work, first performed in June 1969 and recorded a short time later with the original cast but a different conductor. (The young Janowski took over from Penderecki specialist Henryk Czyz.)

The opera is based on John Whiting’s dramatization of Aldous Huxley’s book The Devils of Loudun , set to a German translation by Erich Fried. Huxley researched a documented incident which took place in the provincial town of Loudun in August 1634: the torture and execution of a renegade Catholic priest, Urbain Grandier. Although Grandier had broken his vow of celibacy—repeatedly—the execution seems to have been politically motivated, a sortie in the vicious power struggle between Cardinal Richelieu and the Huguenots. Whiting’s point was that religious beliefs, particularly entrenched ones, may be manipulated for secular political ends. (But not today, of course!) Huxley, in the book, was also interested in the suppression of the sexual urge under the strictures of church dogma, and the psychological damage resulting from that inhibition. The latter theme is personified in Jeanne, the deformed Prioress who nurses a lust-driven obsession with Grandier, without ever having met him. In the course of her subsequent exorcism (female sexual desire being the work of the devil), she accuses Grandier of presiding over a black mass and corrupting the entire Ursuline nunnery.

Penderecki’s opera and its contemporary, the movie The Devils directed by Ken Russell (1970), emphasize the lust and madness quotient over the political intrigue, although the latter is still present. For their part, in both the movie and the opera, the nuns oblige by cavorting in a suitably possessed manner, rubbing their hands up and down their persons and adopting expressions of demented ecstasy: a type of acting opera singers are often asked to do. The required contingent of cripples and beggars is thrown in for good measure.

In other words, it’s all “over the top,” nowhere more so than in this made-for-television version filmed by Joachim Hess; but how else could it be? Penderecki’s score is over-the-top as well. Shocking at the time, when Penderecki was the definition of cutting edge, his striking but ultimately limited box of tricks is fully on display: vocal lines lurching across a great range; an orchestra filled with clusters of swarming pizzicato strings; growling bass trombones; glissandos from everyone capable of making them; atonality in its purest sense. In fact, so apt was Penderecki’s language for the representation of hysteria and grotesquery, it is clear he had nowhere to go but back to tonality, which eventually he did. The composer had graver things he wished to say, but also realized that once an enfant terrible is no longer an enfant , he is liable to be thought of simply as terrible.

The TV movie pulls no punches. Hess’s camera spends a lot of time in deconstructive close-up, as these singing actors emote at a level designed for the opera house. There are special effects, superimposition and so on, which were radical then but look a bit corny now. Ditto the grainy 1960s color, the Liz Taylor makeup and beehive hairdos, and the penchant for simulated sex scenes featuring unattractive people. As with Ken Russell’s work, time has lent it an unintended camp quality. But countering this, or possibly enhancing it if you like camp, are several tour de force performances. New York born mezzo Tatiana Troyanos in the central role of Jeanne gives the performance of her alas all too short lifetime. Not only does she cope with Penderecki’s vocal demands, producing a powerful, rich sound, but she does so wearing a constrictive harness to represent a hump, while flinging herself fearlessly around the stage. Troyanos even retains dramatic integrity when, during her exorcism rite, the priests give Jeanne a Holy Water enema. (That’s the act I closer. Drinks, anybody?)

Singing, and for that matter lip-synching (of which there are occasional traces) are of a high level throughout. These performers were thoroughly committed to the drama. A standout on camera is the creepy doctor of Heinz Blankenburg—Fritz Lang would have loved him!—and it is good to see another singer at the beginning of an international career, bass-baritone Hans Sotin. Hiolski is strong in the important role of Grandier, but more convincing as a victim of torture than an object of lust. The opera orchestra attacks the music with confidence; the mono sound allows everything to be heard. This DVD also comes with detailed notes and English subtitles.

I doubt whether The Devils of Loudun will stay in the repertoire; musically it is too much of its time, and the subject matter will probably always be an embarrassment to Catholic opera goers. Nevertheless, it is great to see something from an era when a mainstream art form incorporated an element of bold experiment. Also, there is no denying the star quality of Tatiana Troyanos. Recommended to the adventurous, the libidinous and/or the devout. ---FANFARE: Phillip Scott,

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]]> (bluesever) Penderecki Krzysztof Sun, 25 Oct 2009 12:32:39 +0000
Krzysztof Penderecki – Matrix 5 (1994) Krzysztof Penderecki – Matrix 5 (1994)

01. Anaklasis 
02. Threnody For The Victims Of Hiroshima 
03. Fonogrammi 
04. De Natura Sonoris No. 1 
05. Capriccio For Violin And Orchestra 
06. Canticum Canticorum Salomonis 
07. De Natura Sonoris 2 
08. The Dream Of Jacob

Wanda Wilkomirska - violin
Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra
London Symphony Orchestra
Krzysztof Penderecki - conductor


This collection of Krysztof Penderecki's music encompasses one of New Music's most intense, even extreme pieces: Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima. Played in the extreme registers by 52 string performers, this piece came off in every way as a careening lamentation. Decrying the bombing of Hiroshima at a time when it was still a historical blue ribbon on the war chest of the U.S., Threnody was unforgettable for its vast ranges of sound colors, from the quietest and most brittle to the most raging, swirling bruises imaginable. UNESCO officially selected the composition as one of the finest works of 1961, emblazoning Penderecki's name and the composition's flagrant intensity around the musical globe. The remaining pieces on the CD make this a stunning collection, much of it having functioned as the musical background for The Shining. --Andrew Bartlett,

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]]> (bluesever) Penderecki Krzysztof Sun, 25 Oct 2009 12:45:00 +0000
Krzysztof Penderecki – Polish Requiem (Antoni Wit) [2004] Krzysztof Penderecki – Polish Requiem (Antoni Wit) [2004]

01. Requiem Aeternam - ‘Requiem aeternam dona eis’ 
02. Kyrie - ‘Kyrie Eleison’ 
03. Dies Irae - ‘Dies irae’ 
04. Dies Irae - ‘Tuba minum spargens sonum’ 
05. Dies Irae - ‘Mors stupebit et natura’ 
06. Dies Irae - ‘Quid sum miser tunc dicturus’ 
07. Dies Irae - ‘Rex tremendae majestatis’ 
08. Dies Irae - ‘Recordare Jesu pie’ 
09. Dies Irae - ‘Ingemisco tamquam reus’ 
10. Dies Irae - ‘Lacrimosa dies illa’ 
11. Agnus Dei - ‘Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi’ 
12. Lux Aeterna - ‘Lux aeterna, luceat eis’ 
13. Libera Me - ‘Libera me, Domine, de morte eterna’ 
14. (Finale) - ‘Recordare, Jesu pie’

Izabella Klosinska - soprano
Ryszard Minkiewicz - tenor
Piotr Nowacki - bass
Warsaw National Philharmonic Choir
Warsaw Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra
Antoni Wit - conductor


Naxos continues its exploration into the major repertoire of Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki with his Polish Requiem, which has an interesting background in that its various sections were assembled over time, much in the manner of Johann Sebastian Bach's Mass in B minor. Although the "Sanctus" wasn't added until 1993, most of the individual parts of the Polish Requiem were premiered separately between 1980 and 1984, and the work as a whole not given until 1985. In this form, Penderecki made a recording for Deutsche Grammophon in 1989 which, so far, has generally been adjudged the best. This Naxos recording, featuring conductor Antoni Wit and the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra and chorus plus soloists Izabella Klosinska, Jadwiga Rappé, Ryszard Minkiewicz and Piotr Nowacki has arrived to give the composer's recording a run for its money.

This is the second time around for conductor Antoni Wit in the Polish Requiem, who recorded it back in 1985 for Polskie Nagrania, albeit minus the "Sanctus." Likewise this is the second appearance in the Polish Requiem for soloists Rappé and Piotr Nowacki, both of whom appeared on a recording of the work made by Penderecki for Chandos in 1996, this time including the "Sanctus." One frequently encountered criticism of Penderecki as an interpreter of his own music is that his sense of sound production from the orchestra tends to be thick and blocky. In the Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima, that's not a bad thing -- after all, it's nothing but blocks and intersections. Nonetheless, the Polish Requiem consists of a wide variety of orchestral textures, and Wit does an ideal job of highlighting each of the 16 sections of the work to their best advantage. The light in "Lux aeterna" breaks through as from heaven, the chaos of "Ingemisco tanquam reus" churns up as from hell, the ostinati and exciting percussion flourishes of "Libera me, domine" are spelled out with a sense of drama and urgency, and the giant major chords of the "Sanctus" shake you out of your seat. Of the soloists, Rappé is outstanding, particularly in the "Libera me, domine." Penderecki's Polish Requiem is a big deal, one of only a few late twentieth century works deserving the designation of "masterpiece." This Naxos release is likely the very best way that one might approach and enjoy it. ---Uncle Dave Lewie, Rovi

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]]> (bluesever) Penderecki Krzysztof Sun, 25 Oct 2009 12:48:50 +0000