The Dream of Jacob
|The Dream of Jacob|
|by Krzysztof Penderecki|
The composer in 2008
|Native name||Als Jakob erwachte|
|Dedication||Prince Rainier III|
|Performed||14 August 1974Monte Carlo –|
The Dream of Jacob, also referred to as The Awakening of Jacob (Polish: Przebudzenie Jacuba), is a well-known composition by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. It is scored for large orchestra and was finished in 1974.
Conception and composition
The work's original German title, Als Jakob erwachte aus dem Schlaf, sah er, daß Gott dagewesen war. Er hat es aber nicht gemerkt (Jacob woke from his sleep and said: Truly the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it), is extracted from the Bible and can be found in Genesis 28:16. The work was commissioned for the Silver Jubilee of Prince Rainier III of Monaco, to whom it is dedicated, and was first performed in Monte Carlo in August 14, 1974, by the Orchestre National de l'Opéra de Monte-Carlo under Stanislaw Skrowaczewski. It was eventually published by the Polish Music Publishing House and Schott Music.
The composition is scored for three flutes, three clarinets, three oboes, three B clarinets, three bassoons, five F horns, three B-flat trumpets, three trombones, one tuba, percussion and a large string section. The composition is loosely based on the Bible passage mentioned above, therefore trying to resemble being in the desert on a ladder to heaven, while the angels are ascending and descending.
The composition is in one movement and takes approximately 7 minutes to perform. According to the score, it is in C. This composition is still one of the most performed in its repertoire and also the composition with which Penderecki introduced his neo-Romantic style, which he further developed in his following works, moving away from the style he had been using for the previous 15 years, which included the composition of his first symphony.
The composition received initially mostly positive reviews from Polish and European critics. In the Polish literary magazine Kultura Paryska, the composition is praised for the elimination of "aggressive sound effects and terseness of form" in favor of a more refined style. German music critic Detlef Gojowy described the compositions as bearing strong influences of Richard Wagner and Dmitri Shostakovich. Andrew Porter, from the New Yorker Magazine, was also struck by the composer's exquisite use of the twelve ocarinas. However, Polish magazine Ruch muzyczny stated that The Dream of Jacob did not "fulfill the emotional expectations of the German audience”, but the logic and clarity used in its composition was heartily welcomed. Bernard Holland, from the New York Times, highlighted that the Cracow Philharmonic's performances were reviewed favourably, but also noted that the people "would eventually tire of the riveting sounds in his works and begin to wonder why its musical ideas do not flow together more effectively". Penderecki was also criticized by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra for the difficulty of the notation. and June Schneider, from Music and Musicians, questioned if the composer "is able to provide anything other than superficial sound manipulations".
In popular culture
The Dream of Jacob has been featured in other audiovisual material. The following is a list of the movies and video games in which the composition is featured:
- 1980 American film The Shining used prominent works by Penderecki, among them The Dream of Jacob.
- The composition was also featured in 2006 American film Inland Empire.
- The soundtrack of Polish film Katyn, which also contains The Dream of Jacob, consists exclusively of works by Penderecki.
- Some fragments can be heard in 2007 first-person shooter videogame BioShock.
Following are some of the most well-known recordings of this piece:
|Orchestra||Conductor||Record company||Year of recording||Format|
|Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra||Krzysztof Penderecki||EMI||1972||LP and CD|
|St. Olaf Orchestra||Krzysztof Penderecki||WCAL||1977||LP|
|Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra||Jacek Kasprzyk||Supraphon||1980||LP|
|Kraków Philharmonic Orchestra||Jacek Kasprzyk||Polskie Nagrania Muza||1980||LP|
|RAI National Symphony Orchestra||Krzysztof Penderecki||Fonit Cetra||1982||LP|
|New England Conservatory Symphony Orchestra||Piero Bellugi||New England Conservatory Performances||1985||Cassette|
|Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra||Antoni Wit||Polskie Nagrania Muza||1987||LP|
|Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra||Krzysztof Penderecki||Chandos||1995||CD|
|MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra||Herbert Kegel||Berlin Classics||2003||CD|
|Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra||Antoni Wit||Naxos||2008||CD|
- "Blue" Gene Tyranny. "Krzysztof Penderecki - The Dream of Jacob, for orchestra". allmusic.com. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- Bylander, Cindy. Krzysztof Penderecki : a bio-bibliography. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc. ISBN 0-313-25658-6.
- "Krzysztof Penderecki - "Als Jakob erwachte aus dem Schlaf, sah er, daß Gott dagewesen war. Er hat es aber nicht gemerkt."". notafina.com. Notafina GmbH. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- Avis, Peter (2007). Penderecki: Orchestral Works. EMI Records Ltd.
- Whitehouse, Richard. "PENDERECKI, K.: Fonogrammi / Horn Concerto / Partita / The Awakening of Jacob / Anaklasis / De natura sonoris No. 1 (Warsaw Philharmonic, Wit)". naxos.com. Naxos Digital Services. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
- Penderecki, Krzysztof (1973). "Als Jakob erwachte composer: Krzysztof Penderecki aus dem Schlaf, sah er, daß Gott dagewesen war. Er hat es aber nicht gemerkt." für Orchester. Schott Music. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
- Whitehouse, Richard (2000). 8.554567 - PENDERECKI, K.: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 5 (Polish National Radio Symphony, Wit) (Liner Notes). Hong Kong: Naxos Digital Services. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
- "Dużo szybko i powierzchownie". Kultura (41): 12. 1975.
- Gojowy, Detlef (1975). "Diese erstaunlichen Polen. Krzysztof Penderecki in Bonn". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: 23.
- Porter, Andrew (March 21, 1977). "Musical Events: Catching Up". New Yorker (123): 27.
- "Penderecki dyryguje w Bonn". Ruch muzyczny 20 (1). 1976.
- Holland, Bernard (January 20, 1986). "Concert: Penderecki and Cracow Ensemble". Ruch muzyczny: 25.
- "The Israel Festival Trims Its Wings". High Fidelity/Musical America 25 38. December 1975.
- "Penderecki, HonRAM". Music and Musicians 23 (8): 43–44. December 1975.
- "The Shining (1980) Soundtracks". imdb.com. IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
- "Inland Empire (2006) Soundtracks". imdb.com. IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
- "Katyn (2007) Soundtracks". imdb.com. IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
- Hyrb, Larry (2007-10-11). "BioShockMusic list". Major Nelson's Blog. Retrieved 2007-10-12.
- "Penderecki: Orchestral Works". WarnerClassics.com. Warner Classics. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- "Penderecki*, Lutosławski*, Baird*, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra,Jacek Kasprzyk* – Anaklasis / Mi-Parti / Elegeia / The Awakening Of Jacob". discogs.com. Discogs. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- "Krzysztof Penderecki - Stefan Kamasa, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Antoni Wit – Concerto For Viola And Orchestra / The Awakening Of Jacob / Adagietto From "Paradise Lost"". discogs.com. Discogs. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- "Penderecki: A Polish Requiem; The Dream of Jacob". chandos.net. Chandos. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- "Penderecki, K.: Capriccio For Violin And Orchestra / Capriccio For Oboe And String Orchestra / The Awakening Of Jacob / Threnody (Kegel)". amazon.com. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
- "PENDERECKI, K.: Fonogrammi / Horn Concerto / Partita / The Awakening of Jacob / Anaklasis / De natura sonoris No. 1 (Warsaw Philharmonic, Wit)". naxos.com. Naxos Digital Services. Retrieved February 9, 2014.