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Penderecki, Graphic Scores & improvisers

DUX 0853-4 : The best of PENDERECKI
: Serenada Per Archi, 2 Sinfoniettas , Concerto Per Viola Ed Archi, Percussione e Celesta

Unusually, a disappointing batch from Dux.

To my ears, the claims for Penderecki are pitched too high. I recall being excited by the St Luke Passion, but disappointed thereafter as he retreated into safe conservatism. The "best of" is a 2-disc sampler of extracts and single movements; not a good idea.

The Radom disc, 0935, is more worth while; it is interesting that his concerto is for viola OR cello; surely they are not interchangeable? Tabea Zimmerman on Digital Classics - DVD1036DC is to be preferred.

The music of KWARTLUDIUM & SCANNER is a bit embarrasing on CD. These improvisations etc are best for live concertizing within a group of like-minded enthusiasts, or DVD, but not on sound only.

Try Koncert Kwartludium filmed on YouTube.

Peter Grahame Woolf


Penderecki conducts Penderecki

Sinfonietta per archi Capriccio for oboe & 11 strings - Mariusz Pedzialek (oboe) Viola Concerto -Tabea Zimmerman (viola) Concerto for Flute & Chamber Orchestra - Irena Grafenauer (flute) The Sinfonietta Cracovia, Krzysztof Penderecki

Digital Classics - DVD1036DC

Here is a very useful conspectus of Krystof Penderecki's orchestral music, studio recordings for TV Television Metropolitana made in Frankfurt 1994.

A bit rudimentary in presentation, without any insert booklet, but with interesting introductions to each piece by the composer on screen, with English subtitles. It would not play on one of my DVD machines, but is fine on another and on the computer.

None of these works has had significant exposure in UK, and there has been some disillusionment with Penderecki's later music which changed radically after the vogue for his earlier pieces with dense tone clusters and, particularly, the St Luke Passion.

The flute concerto is alternatively for clarinet. All three concertante works are relatively concise (c. 70 mins total time) and distinctive; each soloist is very fine. It is particularly gratifying to see violist Tabea Zimmerman in a major work, having enjoyed her recent appearance in London as a member of the extraordinary Arcanto Quartet. Recommended.

Peter Grahame Woolf