On March 29, 2020, Polish music lost one of the greatest composers of the 20th and 21st centuries. Krzysztof Penderecki left behind exceptional compositions that have become a permanent part of the repertoire of the Philharmonic in Szczecin
We all lost a great man, an outstanding artist, teacher, humanist and one of the most famous and respected composers in the world. We would like to get more, but we are grateful for what we got and what forever will be a wise lesson and inspiration for us to- be bold and creative. A beautiful memory of the meetings and a great loss will remain – says about Maestro Dorota Serwa, the Director of M. Karłowicz Philharmonic in Szczecin.
Krzysztof Penderecki (born November 23, 1933) is the most famous Polish contemporary composer. The composer gained worldwide fame with works from the 1960s, such as "Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima" or "St. Luke's Passion"
, which initiated his international success
Krzysztof Penderecki has received numerous awards for his work. He is a two-time winner of the Italian Prix and the winner of four Grammy Awards
. In 2005 he was awarded with the Order of the White Eagle.
Forever in our memory
In 1996, Maestro Penderecki composed the symphony-oratorio "Seven Gates of Jerusalem" commissioned by the city of Jerusalem on the occasion of the Jubilee of 3000 years of the Holy City. Apart from many of the Master's works that were performed at the Philharmonic in Szczecin, it is this composition and the meeting with the Maestro that will be remembered forever.
The piece performed by the Szczecin Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and the combined forces of three choirs and the best soloists could be heard on December 14th, 2018
in the golden hall of the Philharmonic. The orchestra was conducted by Maestro Penderecki himself during the concert, and the rehearsals that preceded it were an inspiring time for all of us, for which we thank you and which we will always remember fondly
Over the last twelve months, the Maestro’s works have been repeatedly featured in the repertoire of the Mieczysław Karłowicz Philharmonic in Szczecin.
During the concert in June dedicated to film music, the piece "Polymorphia"
for 48 string instruments was performed. The work was used in the film classics such as "The Exorcist" and "The Shining.
Ewa Szczecińska, a radio journalist, compares Penderecki's early work to a painting by Hieronim Bosch: This music visually presents and changes at the same time the various states and emotions – it seems to the listener that it touches upon something unnamed, secret metaphysics. The whole works like Bosch's paintings: it turns out to be a heartbreaking fresco, captivating with sounds various passions, fears, euphoria and pains.
Improvisation and commemoration
Krzysztof Penderecki's music was also used by the Atom String Quartet, giving it a completely new context. With respect to the original musical notes, the Atom String Quartet does not shy away from creative references and improvisation. The main axis of the concert program, which took place in October 2020, were chamber and solo pieces for the wind instruments from the youthful period of the Master's work, which were interspersed with "Three pieces in the old style"
, which Penderecki created from his own music for the film "The Manuscript Found in Saragossa" ".
Professor Penderecki did not want to listen to the recordings, but asked us for the scores
– says Krzysztof Lenczowski, the cellist of the Atom String Quartet, in an interview with Dorota Zamolska from Radio Szczecin. This is how our cooperation with the Professor on this album looked like. Of course, we sent our notes and it was only after he analyzed our notes that he saw that "Caprice for the tuba" – this is one melody line – is suddenly played by a string quartet, he sent us a letter, very elegant, in which he expressed his approval
- he adds.
The Atom String Quartet has also recorded an album with the Maestro works, which was released by the Philharmonic. The album is still available in our online store
The world prapremiere
In March 2021, we witnessed the world premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki's "Chaconna
" in JaeJoon Ryu's transcription for the piano trio. For the first time, the famous part of the "Polish Requiem" sounded on our stage in the interpretation of the Penderecki Trio
The premiere performance was broadcast to the USA on the website of New York's Lincoln Center.
The concert can still be heard on our Facebook
In the near future, the Maestro works will again appear in the repertoire of the Philharmonic, in order to honor the memory of the author of "Passion