Symphony No. 2 (Penderecki)

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Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki wrote his Symphony No. 2 during the winter of 1979–80. Sometimes referred to as the "Christmas Symphony" (quotations of the Christmas carol "Silent Night" occur repeatedly throughout the symphony), neither the score nor the parts (Schott Music, Mainz 45 791) make any reference to this moniker.

Structure[edit]

The symphony, lasting 30–35 minutes, is in one movement employing a modified sonata form. Sectons are marked: Moderato, Allegretto, Lento, Tempo I and Allegretto.

Analysis[edit]

The harmonic idiom of the symphony is unabashedly tonal and romantic,[according to whom?] akin to that of Bruckner, and was seen by many[who?] at the time of the symphony's completion as a betrayal to the prevailing avant-garde style, to which Penderecki himself had previously contributed significantly (as demonstrated in his Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima). However, this reversion to a romantic style had already been hinted at in his St. Luke Passion and Violin Concerto No. 1 of a few years earlier. This change in style was to become permanent, and his music since has been coined as neo-romantic in style.[who?]. There are audible allusions in the first Allegretto to Suk's Asrael Symphony and in the Lento to Shostakovich.

Instrumentation[edit]

Piccolo, flutes (2), oboes (2), cor anglais, clarinets (3 in E flat, with bass clarinets), bassoons (2), contrabassoon, trumpets (5), horns (3), trombones (3), tubas (1), percussion (4 performers: triangle, gong, beck., tamtam, mil. tr., gr. tr., tubular bells, glockenspiel, xylophone), celesta, strings.[1]

Premiere[edit]

Recordings[edit]

Orchestra Conductor Record company Year of Recording Format
National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra of Katowice (Polskie Radio. Wielka Orkiestra Symfoniczna w Katowicach)[2] Jacek Kasprzyk Muza 1981 LP
Norddeutscher Rundfunk. Sinfonie-Orchester Krzysztof Penderecki Wergo 1994[3] CD
National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra (Katowice) Antoni Wit Naxos Records 2000[4] CD

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Schott Music Shop: Penderecki 2. Symphony". Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  2. ^ OCLC 81575760
  3. ^ "Penderecki Partial Discography at Polmic.pl" (in Polish). Retrieved 2009-01-26.  Information elsewhere shows(?) that this was released in 1994 but recorded in 1989, so in any case postdates the Muza recording.
  4. ^ OCLC 45109918