Krzysztof Penderecki, Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, Antoni Wit - Utrenja

Published Wednesday 3rd June 2009
Krzysztof Penderecki, Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, Antoni Wit - Utrenja
Krzysztof Penderecki, Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, Antoni Wit - Utrenja

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Naxos 8572031

Reviewed by Andy Whitehead

John Irvine reviewed this work back in Issue 15 (June 1993 and filed under Classical on this website) and I have little to add to his astute comments. This release is a new recording made in Warsaw in the autumn of 2008 under the baton of Antoni Wit who is well established as an interpreter of Penderecki's challenging works and, indeed, studied under him at Krakow. As this release is on Naxos we are guaranteed a good quality recording at a very generous price and my only complaint is that there is no translation of the texts included within the otherwise informative CD booklet. The work falls into two sections, Part I is "Zlozenie Chrystusa Do Grobu" ("The Entombment Of Christ") and Part II is "Zmartwychwsanie Panskie" ("The Resurrection Of Christ"). This is not easy listening which is perhaps no bad thing. Sometimes settings of the Passion are too musical and we lose sight of what was happening with an innocent man being humiliated, tortured and executed in the bloodiest way imaginable. If we are left humming a pretty tune at the end of it we have missed the point. Penderecki will not allow this to happen. His music is powerful and, in places, frightening. If you appreciated the composer's 'Polish Requiem' or 'St Luke Passion' then you will find this a rewarding experience.

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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