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Symphony No. 3


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Product Details

  • 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: #66,503 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

Product Description

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Format: Audio CD
Thank you Naxos for your commitment to adventurous music at affordable prices. That alone should put this CD on a must have list. Add to that the fact that for the most part, the performances are stellar and it makes this the Penderecki CD to have, if you want to explore this seminal late 20th century composer.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
Sorry, but I can't agree with the previous reviews in one aspect: Is it that nobody has listened to Penderecki's own rendering of the astonishing "Threnody"? That one (*) is the now-and-forever reference for that work.
(*) 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").
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Format: Audio CD
If you're unfamiliar with Penderecki, this CD is the best place to start. It contains his most (in)famous early work ("Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima") as well as the best large orchestral piece I've yet heard from him (3rd Symphony).
"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.
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By ptitchitza on Sept. 13 2000
Format: Audio CD
It was the soundtrack for The Exorcist that led me to Penderecki. Previous reviewers have, pretty much, said it all. 77 minutes of amazing music, potent, beautiful, disturbing, excellent recording and great price - what more do you want? With such an approach Naxos, I feel, should get a special recognition of the Polish government for popularizing the work of one of the greatest composers of our time.
Note, if you're new to Penderecki's music, the unanimous 5 star ratings of all reviewers and how no one seems to have enough of his music ("customers who bought this title also bought...").
"What I have been doing has been to collect and to transform the experience of the entire century", said Penderecki. As one of the previous reviewers noted, the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra play like they are possessed. My only concern is... health: this, sometimes moving and beautiful, sometimes radically cruel, deeply disturbing, exploding orgy of sound makes me turn up the volume beyond reason.
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