Krzysztof Penderecki, Warsaw National Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra - Symphony No 7 Seven Gates Of Jerusalem

Published Saturday 13th January 2007
Krzysztof Penderecki, Warsaw National Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra - Symphony No 7 Seven Gates Of Jerusalem
Krzysztof Penderecki, Warsaw National Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra - Symphony No 7 Seven Gates Of Jerusalem

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 21889-
LABEL: Naxos 8557766
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 1

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

Be warned: if the volume level on your hi-fi is set too high you will blow your speakers apart. This symphony starts at full volume, making Orff's "O Fortuna" a good comparison. Jerusalem has a special significance for the Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, who first visited it in 1974 following the Yom Kippur war. He was commissioned then to write a work for the third millennium celebration of the City of David and composed the oratorio "Seven Gates Of Jerusalem" in 1996. (According to Jewish tradition the eighth gate is reserved for the Messiah.) The work was premièred in Jerusalem in 1997 and after its Polish première, Penderecki decided to call it his Seventh Symphony. Without wishing to spend this review debating the difference between a symphony and an oratorio it has to be said that there is a great deal of splendid singing on this disc. The conductor and soloists are all Polish with an Italian narrator. Antoni Wit is to be commended in keeping his forces together in what sounds like a very complicated and challenging piece. Penderecki is a contemporary composer who knows his musical roots. If you enjoy Górecki, Orff or Stravinsky then this budget-priced disc should appeal to you.

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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