- Composer: Penderecki
- Audio CD (June 1 2005)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Ncl
- ASIN: B00004D3II
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #34,106 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
|1. Symphony No. 3: Andante con moto|
|2. Symphony No. 3: Allegro con brio|
|3. Symphony No. 3: Adagio|
|4. Symphony No. 3: Passacaglia - Allegro moderato|
|5. Symphony No. 3: Vivace|
|6. Threnody For The Victims Of Hiroshima for 52 stringed instruments|
|7. Fluorescenses For Orchestra|
|8. De natura sonoris II For Orchestra|
The Symphony is one of my favorite Penderecki neo-romantic works. The neo-romantic tendency in Penderecki is evident even in his work of the late 60s. Certainly it is present in the choral music such as the St. Luke Passion. But in the Third Symphony it comes to the fore. This Symphony has echos of Bruckner, Mahler, and even Shostakovitch, but it is uniquely Penderecki. There is the same interest in orchestral effect and brooding melodic material that could be found in earlier works. For me, this Symphony and the Violin Concerto are the most successful pieces by Penderecki in this vein and certainly more interesting than many pieces by neo-romantic composers. (Give me Penderecki over Rouse any day!)
The other works on the CD are from an earlier time in Penderecki's career, one in which sonority was everything. The sound experiments in De Natura sonoris III and Flouresences are well developed, but more interesting as experiments than moving as music.
That leaves the Threnody. I have to agree that this is a disappointment. The performance has no arc to it. The final cluster, which should be devastating, doesn't seem to exist sonically. In fact, I missed it the first time I heard the CD. Wit seems to approach this piece in the same manner as he approaches the other pieces from the 60s on this disc, and it just doesn't work for a piece dedicated to the Hiroshima victims.Read more ›
(*) released by EMI on a CD (Matrix series no.5, with superb cover art by artist Peter Nevin) together with some other fine works as "Anaklasis", "Capriccio" and "De Natura Sonoris" I & II; and more recently on a 2-CD set (Double Forte series) together with also "Emanations" and the First Symphony (excellent works previously available separately in Matrix series no.17)
I had listened to that performance quite a lot of times, I knew the whole work by heart (and I had also read its ground-breaking graphic self-speaking score). Then I bought this disc, and I must say I was highly disappointed with Wit's rendering. Well, some timbral aspects of it aren't that bad (in fact, really interesting), but his overall comprehension of the work seems to me quite poor. He and the string orchestra didn't get the right dynamics and seem lost in details while losing the tremendous impact of the whole, as you can get in Penderecki's fabulous rendering. Penderecki's is an overwhelming and neatly tied performance, Wit's one sounds rather like a bundle of lost-in-labyrinth cries.
On the counterpart, I must say that his reading of "Fluorescences" is certainly the referential one. Here Wit really got it right. Every aspect of his performance here is excellent.
For the other two works: the Third Symphony is well performed, but the work itself is not at all comparable to such masterpieces as the "Threnody" and "Fluorescences" (Penderecki's best orchestral scores, along with "Polymorphia").Read more ›
"Threnody" remains one of the most radical and ear-lacerating sonic assaults ever created. Use it to wake up your loved ones, or clear unwanted guests out of the house. The other 2 "noise" pieces are more colorful but less concentrated.
The symphony is robust, lurid, and happily neo-romantic. The highlight is an eerily beautiful adagio which makes me think of wandering through a decaying garden under a full moon. I also like the propulsive, macabre scherzo-finale, which will make you wonder why nobody ever thought of using a scherzo for a finale before.
Once again Naxos puts the full-price labels to shame: adventurous music, terrific performances, good sound, and comprehensive notes, all for the price of lunch in a fast-food joint.
1.- The music of Penderecki is one like a good Bordeaux wine, it grows bigger each time you listen to it. Read more