Krzysztof Penderecki, Kim Kashkashian - Lachrymae Viola Concerto

Monday 1st August 1994
Krzysztof Penderecki, Kim Kashkashian - Lachrymae Viola Concerto

STYLE: Classical
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 29326-
LABEL: ECM 1506/4396112
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 1

Reviewed by John Irvine

Penderecki's music is intensely contemporary. The sorrows expressed in his music could have been caused by the horrors of the Holocaust, or of Bosnia. His music also expresses the 'angst' or fear of existence so prevalent in art and literature. Sorrow is expressed, grief is confronted. It is acknowledged, but not permitted to overwhelm us. Rage is one answer to the problem, hope is another. All of this is found in the viola concerto. The soloist is a single, subjective voice of sorrow: stammering staccato phrases slowly join into longer phrases resembling sung lamentations. All the while the orchestra provides a gloomy background picture resonating to the raw grief of the viola soloist. And this recording is probably the most heart-wrenchingly sorrowful performance of the viola concerto that I have heard. One does not listen to Penderecki for comfort or entertainment. One listens and one hears an affirmation of grief and sorrow as part of the human condition; one finds an expression of one's pain: through this we begin to deal with what we feel. There is hope, but it is hope as though set against an immense darkness which threatens to overwhelm us. A remarkable recording of an impressively powerful contemporary work.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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