Krzysztof Penderecki, Warsaw National Philharmonic Choir And Orchestra - A Polish Requiem

Published Tuesday 1st March 2005
Krzysztof Penderecki, Warsaw National Philharmonic Choir And Orchestra - A Polish Requiem
Krzysztof Penderecki, Warsaw National Philharmonic Choir And Orchestra - A Polish Requiem

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 12223-
LABEL: Naxos 855738687
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 2
RRP: £9.99

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

This is not an easy listen and those who like their Requiems to be calm and serene should go elsewhere. But those who have the courage to explore will find much to appreciate on this budget recording. As ever with Naxos the only thing about this package that is cheap is the price: all four soloists may well be unknown to us but all four can sing and the choir and orchestra are outstanding. Some background to the composition should set it in its historical and musical context: the "Lacrimosa" was written in 1980 for Lech Walesa and Solidarity in memory of the Gdansk dockers who had been killed 10 years earlier. Then came the "Agnus Dei", composed in 1981 as a memorial to Cardinal Wyszynski, followed a year later by the "Recordare Jesu Pie", written to mark the beatification of Father Kolbe, the martyr of Auschwitz. In 1984 came the "Dies Irae" as a 40th anniversary remembrance of the Warsaw uprising against the Nazis. So all in all this is not a happy work but it remains positive as the composer looks beyond the trials of this life to the hope of better things to come.

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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