PASSION AND CONVICTION
'Very well played indeed ... Very well recorded ... Taxing music
to perform even when accessible to the listener.'
PETER DALE explores the orchestral music of Penderecki -
a composer who lit a beacon for Polish music
looking for an introduction to the music of Penderecki need go no further
than this admirably played disc. There is none of his choral music here,
but everything else, over the span of a long working life, is well represented.
Outside of his native Poland, Penderecki's reputation still rests upon a
few, relatively youthful works: particularly the Threnody for the Victims
of Hiroshima (1960), included here, and the St Luke Passion (1963-5).
Both pieces were given numerous performances in the 60's and 70's and they
earned their composer the status of a leader of the international avant-garde.
The current awareness of and interest in Polish music - both the moderns
and the Romantics particularly - is very largely due to Penderecki's example,
but his own name and music have become rarities in recent years. It seems
quite likely though that the attention we now give to Szymanowski (chronologically
long before Penderecki) and Gorecki (stylistically long after him) might
not have happened if Penderecki had not lit a beacon for Polish music. Both
of those composers, as it happens, are also well represented in the adventurous
Copyright © 3 June 2000 Peter Dale,
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