New Penderecki Audio/Video Recordings

A Tribute to Krzysztof Penderecki
Krzysztof Penderecki: Threnody To the Victims of Hiroshima; Duo concertante; Concerto Grosso No. 1 for 3 Cellos; Credo (Recorded live at the Polish National Opera, Warsaw, 23 November 2013)

Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin; Daniel Müller-Schott, cello; Charles Dutoit, Valery Gergiev and Krzysztof Urbanski, conductors; and more
Accentus Music ACC-20276 [DVD]

Krzysztof Penderecki is one of the world’s great contemporary composers and a Polish classical music icon. His 80th birthday celebration on November 23, 2013 occasioned an extraordinary gathering of the world’s most significant musicians and his most important interpreters, and much of the footage of this DVD was recorded live that day at the Polish National Opera in Warsaw. Companions and long-time friends of the composer presented their homage to Penderecki with some of his most famous works being performed: Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, the Duo Concertante, the Concerto Grosso No. 1 and the unique Credo. In bonus footage, Krzysztof Penderecki himself talks about the concert.

PENDERECKI: Choral Works Vol. 2
Krzysztof Penderecki : Missa brevis; Psalms of David; Iz glubiny wozzwach k tiebie (Gospodi Psalm 129); Utrenja II – Ashche i wo grob z jutrzni II; O gloriosa virginum; Kaddish

Polish Chamber Choir; Jan Łukaszewski, cond.
DUX Records (amazon.com)

Reviewer Alexandra Coghlan writes the following for Gramophone Magazine:

By his own admission, the Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki has ‘spent decades searching for and discovering new sounds’. Nowhere are the breadth and variety of these discoveries more evident than on the latest disc in Dux’s Penderecki Special Edition series – a second volume of choral works performed by the Polish Chamber Choir. The repertoire here stretches from the composer’s earliest choral work, the Psalms of David (1958), to his Missa brevis (completed in 2012) – from ferocious, percussion-driven violence to unaccompanied neo-classical sweetness, via the chant-inspired formality of Utrenja. The guiding thread through music constantly evolving and reimagining itself is Catholicism and its liturgy.

Penderecki’s choral music might be less familiar than his large-scale orchestral works but it’s a microcosm of this composer’s extraordinary breadth. This disc is an essential addition to a slim recording catalogue, and if I wish that the singers had found the muscular flexibility of the Netherlands Chamber Choir’s 2004 album of Penderecki (Globe), then that’s just a small quibble.

[Sources: Naxos press release, gramophone.co.uk]