New Penderecki Album

Penderecki conducts Penderecki/Warsaw Philharmonic – VOL. I
Krzysztof Penderecki: Dies Illa – for 3 soloists, the choir, and the orchestra (2014); Hymn do św. Daniiła – for the mixed choir and the orchestra (1997); Psalmy Dawida – for a mixed choir and percussion (1958)
Choir and Orchestra of the Warsaw National Philharmonic; Krzysztof Penderecki – conductor; Henryk Wojnarowski – choir director; Johanna Rusanen – soprano; Agnieszka Rehlis – mezzo-soprano; Nikolay Didenko – bass
Warner Music Poland (3 June 2016); Available at

“My art, with its deep Christian roots, aims to restore the human metaphysical space, shattered by 20th-century cataclysms. Restoring the sacred dimension of reality is the only way in which man can be saved.” – Krzysztof Penderecki

On June 27, a meeting with Krzysztof Penderecki took place in Studio U22 in Warsaw on the occasion of the premiere of a new album with Penderecki’s music, opening the series called Penderecki conducts Penderecki/Warsaw Philharmonic. The following people participated in the discussion panel: Professor Henryk Wojnarowski – the director of the Philharmonic Choir, Wojciech Nowak – the Philharmonic director, and Piotr Kabaj – the director of the Warner Music Poland. Jacek Hawryluk was the moderator of that meeting.

This album contains a selection of Poland’s greatest living composer’s vocal-instrumental works on religious subjects, representing different artistic responses to the challenge expressed above. Our selection also provides proof of the special importance that the composer attaches to what he considers as “the most difficult of instruments”– namely, the human voice. This represents th first studio recording of Penderecki with the Choir and the Orchestra of the National Philharmonic. It is also the world phonographic premiere of Dies Illa.

Penderecki shot to notoriety in the musical avant-garde in 1960 with the haunting string music of his Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima. He remains a doyen of contemporary music alongside Arvo Pärt and the late, lamented Henryk Górecki. Here, the 82-year-old composer conducts his own music with his national orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic. He also gives the triumphant premiere of a powerful new sacred work, Dies Illa, for soloists (Johanna Rusanen, Agnieszka Rehlis and Nikolay Didenko), choir and orchestra, composed to mark the centenary of WWI in 2014.