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Gemini - Penderecki: Symphony No 2, Etc / Polish Radio So, Et Al


Release Date: 02/12/2002 
Label:  Emi Classics Double Fforte Catalog #: 74852   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Krzysztof Penderecki
Performer:  Wieslaw OchmanAndrzej HiolskiEwa PodlesJadwiga Gadulanka,   ... 
Conductor:  Krzysztof Penderecki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cracow Polish Radio/TV Symphony OrchestraCracow Polish Radio/TV ChorusCracow Philharmonic Chorus,   ... 
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 1 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

For listeners enamored of the icy-cold string scrapes and screeches of Penderecki's Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima, this double-disc set devoted to his orchestral and choral music is probably not for you. In the 1970s and into the '80s, the composer abandoned that sort of avant-garde shock-value aesthetic for an Eastern European neo-romanticism, something like Bruckner-meets-Kancheli, and this collection of works (mostly) reflects that. The music is primarily slow (even the fast portions feel ponderous) and solemn. When the tempo does liven up, it is mostly as a contrast to the pervasive funereal dirge-like atmosphere.


This is not to say it isn't gorgeous. Penderecki has a way with pacing, and a gift for
Read more orchestral sonority--the terrifying sonic furor toward the end of the last movement of the Magnificat is potent and wonderful, the set's high point. More avant-garde than the symphony or the gossamer-like Te Deum, this Magnificat is effective and chilling. The soloists are all excellent, though Ewa Podles' voice does wear out its welcome. When it's just her, she sounds ravishing; when she has to blend, her vibrato overwhelms and doesn't match.


The Christmas Symphony, so called because it quotes "Silent Night", is a beautiful, sonorous piece, but glum--which makes you wonder at the turgid nature of the composer's Christmases. Those expecting upbeat Yuletide spirit should look elsewhere. The disc's last piece, Kanon, is the oldest and most "experimental"--a string orchestra playing against a digitally recorded version of itself, which is strange to hear after all the romantic works. Nevertheless, it's effective in a very different way.


The composer himself takes the podium, conducting various orchestras with uniform success--he draws out the moody, dense sound that his work requires and brings to life even the most sober, plodding chords. The quality of sound on these discs is excellent, and at the bargain two-for-one price, it is certainly a worthwhile purchase.
--Daniel Felsenfeld, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 2 "Christmas" by Krzysztof Penderecki
Conductor:  Krzysztof Penderecki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cracow Polish Radio/TV Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979-1980; Poland 
Date of Recording: 03/1983 
Venue:  Polish Radio/TV Studios, Katowice 
Length: 34 Minutes 48 Secs. 
2.
Te Deum by Krzysztof Penderecki
Performer:  Wieslaw Ochman (Tenor), Andrzej Hiolski (Baritone), Ewa Podles (Mezzo Soprano),
Jadwiga Gadulanka (Soprano)
Conductor:  Krzysztof Penderecki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cracow Polish Radio/TV Symphony Orchestra,  Cracow Polish Radio/TV Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979-1980; Poland 
Date of Recording: 03/1983 
Venue:  Polish Radio/TV Studios, Katowice 
Length: 38 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
3.
Magnificat by Krzysztof Penderecki
Performer:  Peter Lagger (Bass)
Conductor:  Krzysztof Penderecki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cracow Polish Radio/TV Chorus,  Cracow Philharmonic Chorus,  Polish National Symphony Orchestra  ... 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1973-1974; Poland 
Date of Recording: 1975 
Venue:  Polish Radio/TV Studios, Katowice 
Length: 45 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
4.
Lacrimosa by Krzysztof Penderecki
Performer:  Jadwiga Gadulanka (Soprano)
Conductor:  Krzysztof Penderecki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cracow Polish Radio/TV Symphony Orchestra,  Cracow Polish Radio/TV Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1980; Poland 
Date of Recording: 03/1983 
Venue:  Polish Radio/TV Studios, Katowice 
Length: 5 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
5.
Kanon by Krzysztof Penderecki
Conductor:  Krzysztof Penderecki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1962; Poland 
Date of Recording: 1972 
Venue:  Polish Radio/TV Studios, Katowice 
Length: 9 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Notes: This performance utilizes a pre-recorded tape. 

Sound Samples

Symphony No.2 'Christmas Symphony'
Te Deum (2001 Digital Remaster)
Lacrimosa (2001 Digital Remaster)
Magnificat (2001 Digital Remaster): Magnificat-Fuga-Quia Respexit-Misericordia
Magnificat (2001 Digital Remaster): Fecit Potentiam
Magnificat (2001 Digital Remaster): Passacaglia-Magnificat
Magnificat (2001 Digital Remaster): Sicut Locutus Est - Gloria
Kanon (2001 Digital Remaster)

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