Penderecki / Dvořák / Sinfonia Varsovia
Penderecki: Symphony #2 “Christmas” (1980); Dvořák: Symphony #7 in D minor, Op. 70 (1885).
Sinfonia Varsovia, Krzysztof Penderecki – cond.
Warner Classics 0190295732721

The new album by the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, released with Warner Classics, is a musical gift on the birthday of Maestro Krzysztof Penderecki, the artistic director of the orchestra. On it he conducts both the heroic and elegiac moods represented in Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70 (1885) by Antonín Dvořák, as well as his own work—the Symphony No. 2 “Christmas” (1980).

“The Polish premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Symphony No. 2 (commissioned by Zubin Mehta and premiered in May 1980 by the New York Philharmonic) during the “Warsaw Autumn” Festival in 1981 caused some consternation among the audience and critics – this is a composer who, at the dawn of his career as an icon of Polish and international avant-garde, he presented a work very strongly oriented towards the past, close to the traditional (although significantly extended) tonality, and above all – full of exuberant, neoromantic expression.” (Piotr Maculewicz)

The juxtaposition of Penderecki’s Symphony No. 2 “Christmas” with Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 is a fascinating picture of the evolution of the Slavic tradition of composing. Both Penderecki and Dvořák consciously draw on the heritage of their national music, at the same time undertaking a creative dialogue with the achievements of modern times. Thanks to this, their music has an extraordinary culture-creating value while maintaining a direct, emotional impact on the listeners.