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  2. You're only as good as the harshest criticism you're willing to hear.
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Krzysztof Penderecki

Discussion in 'The RedBanned Bar & Grill' started by Paul Poole, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. #1 Paul Poole, Apr 6, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2020
    Everyone here has probably already heard about this, but since I’m always the last to know I thought I'd mention that Penderecki died last Sunday. (Sorry if this was already covered in another thread that I didn’t see yet.)

    Naxos released four CD’s some years ago with his first five symphonies. They’re good performances and well recorded. The symphonies (and Threnody is included) are very worthwhile for any modern composer interested in orchestral music. Largely different from the Kubrick/Shining stuff (which was very interesting in and of itself, of course).

    His regular publisher page at Schott:


    His obit:


    Here’s a link to his 3rd:

  2. The 3rd was featured a lot in that Dicaprio film......what was it called.

    Shutter Island I believe. It's played throughout the film.

    @2010 I saw an all Penderecki program conducted by ........ Penderecki, at Carnegie Hall.

    Yes, he is a wonderful composer.

    However "Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima" (which was performed) has lost all its meaning.
    Right up there with Ozzy Osborne these days in terms of being "edgy".

    I found it interesting how from @2000 he returned to writing basically extended tonality works.
  3. yes, that was such a big loss.
  4. Is that simply a contextual issue?
  5. Oh boy. You just gave me the cringes. I have a strong aversion to "context".
    It's become like middle-management corporate jargon.

    In 1960 Psycho had warnings that the shower scene is so intense it could cause heart failure and pregnant women should not attend.

    Today...... :cool:

    The opera Carmen, upon its premiere, was considered so taboo that they took the composer and put him in jail.

    2020: It's probably the most popular ever now.

    1950 - something: "Therondy" presents a wild break from the classical canon, depicting the horror and death of the first atomic bomb.

    2010: art school student's and people in turtle necks smiling because they think the sound is "cool"

    Where's my lute music and audio-book?
    Thomas Bryla likes this.
  6. Life is chock to the brim full of context -- how can one have an aversion to something so unavoidable?
    Not to say I'm relativistically minded in the least, but I would agree it's important to consider the culture and time in which a piece of music is released. That said, I still find Threnody incredibly chilling in its own right, given the intent and what is expressed. It's an extremely effective piece of music in my opinion. 3rd year comp majors scribbling down a meaningless 12-tone row is another matter.

    Ah, so a "boundary pushing" thing. Honestly Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht still sounds much more effectively unsettling to me than a lot of the stuff out there claiming to do so. The last point brings about the topic of an interesting change in the underlying philosophy of a lot of academia (subjectivism/relativism/etc). Interesting but lengthy topic.

    I'm holding it for ransom until you help me with another piece.

    Oh hey look! https://redbanned.com/threads/writing-for-strings-snippet.1076/
  7. Man, I am lost with at least 50% of the terms you use. You're an interesting cat.

    @2010 I saw an all Penderecki program conducted by ........ Penderecki, at Carnegie Hall.
    "Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima" (which was performed)

    I am basically giving you a concert review.

    There was nothing but smiles all night. He walked out smiles. The audience gives a standing ovation before the first note.
    He smiles more and throws kisses.

    Nothing mentioned in either the program note or spoken aloud about the subject of the work.

    The piece gets played.

    It sounds 10'x's less scary than from all the movies. You have to remember Dolby sound is not a concert hall.

    The piece ends. Standing ovation and cheers. He smiles more, they bring him a big bouquet of roses, and shakes hands, laughs with the orchestra.
    That's it. The end.

    I'm not making a comment on the importance of the work to the "canon".

    Maybe this expresses the same thing.

    "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath could be argued as a "Masterpiece of Heavy Metal".

    I assert seeing 1970 Paranoid tour would have a lot more "shock-waves" vs. 2020 Ozzy Osbourne's "I am on my 100th tour because I need the money to pay for my medical bills" tour.

    Nothing wrong with enjoying the later of either.
    Rohann van Rensburg likes this.
  8. This is why I mentioned context -- I, for some reason, am not really familiar with the piece. It hasn't gone from "new work" to "pop/subculture icon" status for me. I haven't become desensitized to its presence, or overuse in media (I've somehow still managed to not have seen The Shining either, so I'm probably just a poser).

    Granted, if I was at a concert and everyone was smiling cheerfully, it likely wouldn't have the same effect. But put on headphones and look at grainy photos from the 1940s and, to me at least, it expresses what it seems to intend to. I'm not sure how it would translate into a concert hall though, that's a good point.

    Your point about Ozzy is apt, but I think my experence with this piece is more the 1970's concert than the anniversary tour.

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