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RIP Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020)


crocodile
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Multiple Polish outlets reported that he passed away this morning. I has been confirmed by the organisation led by his wife. 

 

https://nationalpost.com/pmn/entertainment-pmn/polish-composer-penderecki-dies-at-86-after-long-illness/amp

 

RIP. He really made his mark in the history of music. I had a privileged of seeing him three times live. While his early experimental music is what most people know I actually like his later more neoromantic works as well. :( 

 

Karol

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RIP. He opened all sorts of new tools and parameters for contemporary composers to build on. Though his later works deserve more credit than they get.

 

His viola concerto is great!

 

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I think he truly was the greatest composer of the post-war era.  I find everything he wrote phenomenal, even the post-1970 works that didn't get the same degree of critical attention.

6 hours ago, Pawel P. said:

I had an interview with Maestro eight years ago. Extremely nice man. During the interview, I asked, among other things, whether he was tempted to write something for a film himself, since his music was used by great directors, such as Kubrick, Scorsese or Wajda.

 

"I don't want to waste time," he replied. "Besides, it would be a transition to the 'other side', which I don't want to do.

 

"Other side?" I asked.

 

"Look at John Williams. He composes very good music, various symphonies and concertos, he is comprehensively educated, he conducts, but everybody knows him only as a film composer. Similarly Ennio Morricone - even when he writes a mass, it's not as good and known as his film music. I think I'll stay on this side!"

 

https://kultura.onet.pl/muzyka/gatunki/klasyka/szkoda-czasu-na-film/jn34jqn

 

Didn't he write scores for a few films in the 60s?  I was also under the impression he composed some new music for Katyn, but I've only seen the film once and that was when it was released before I really had any knowledge of his music.

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4 hours ago, Gnome in Plaid said:

I think he truly was the greatest composer of the post-war era.  I find everything he wrote phenomenal, even the post-1970 works that didn't get the same degree of critical attention.

Didn't he write scores for a few films in the 60s?  I was also under the impression he composed some new music for Katyn, but I've only seen the film once and that was when it was released before I really had any knowledge of his music.

 

Yes, several shorts and documentaries for TV. And a few feature films, mostly smaller Polish films, but also THE SARAGOSSA DOCUMENT, which gained some fame outside Poland. As for KATYN, I think it was mostly existing music.

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Yes. it was.  Wajda asked Pendercki if he could write the score for "Katyn" and he agreed at first, but when he saw the movie, some shots seemed too drastic and emotional to him. And this is because his uncle, chief of military staff, was among the more than twenty-one thousand Polish officers murdered by the Russians in 1940. The composer gave Andrzej Wajda full freedom in choosing fragments of his work. Wajda used "The Awakening of Jakub", Symphony No. 2 "Christmas" and  Agnus Dei, Lux Aeterna and Ciaccona from "Polish Requiem" .

 

The only movie for which Penderecki composed the score, apart from short experimental productions from the late 1950s and early 1960s, was indeed Wojciech Jerzy Has's "The Saragossa Manuscript" from 1965.

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In the interviews I've read (including the tidbit posted by Pawel above), Penderecki seemed to have a kind of "Andre Previn"-like relationship to film music. He's done it, but moved on, and in general had a bit of snobby relationship to the artform.

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12 hours ago, SteveMc said:

Pity this perception of a divide that still exists, and I'm afraid that the pop composers who dominate film scoring do things no favors.  But it's very refreshing to hear a great recognizing greatness when he hears it.

Would there have been a place for him in film music industry? John Corigliano's only score from this decade got rejected... and that's not because the music was bad.

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20 hours ago, SteveMc said:

Pity this perception of a divide that still exists, and I'm afraid that the pop composers who dominate film scoring do things no favors.  But it's very refreshing to hear a great recognizing greatness when he hears it.

 

9 hours ago, Thor said:

In the interviews I've read (including the tidbit posted by Pawel above), Penderecki seemed to have a kind of "Andre Previn"-like relationship to film music. He's done it, but moved on, and in general had a bit of snobby relationship to the artform.

 

At least the snippet above might just refer to why he didn't want to write film music himself, not necessarily to a negative view on the "genre" as such. Perhaps he just felt that writing film music would be too much of a change to his M.O. (modus operandi), hence him calling it "the other side". It doesn't sound like he's critical of Williams and Morricone in that comment, rather that he thought because they were so invested in film music, they were perhaps restricted by it when writing "freely". Previn certainly didn't seem to have a low opinion of good film music (after all, he still conducted some of it long after he'd turned his own back on Hollywood), but rather urged Williams to stop doing it because he thought he could do other great stuff that scoring films kept him from.

 

I'm afraid I still only know Penderecki's music from various film that used it. I don't have anything him in my collection. I should change that.

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