Krzysztof Penderecki Chamber Music Revelatory

This disc is a continuation of the Penderecki recording project from the Polish label DUX. Like the rest of the series, it features Polish artists performing the works of their countryman Krzysztof Penderecki.

This volume features an interesting mix of his chamber music. It includes his Cadenza for solo violin, Per Slava for solo cello (written for Rostropovich), Capriccio per Radovan for solo horn, and Preludium for solo clarinet.

The major work on the release is the Sextett for clarnet, horn, violin, viola, cello and piano. This 30-minute work was finished in 2000 and reflects Penderecki’s current stripped-down style of composition. The piano is mostly limited to a single line, giving the work a certain amount of lightness. Repeated notes and figures build upon each other as the work progresses.

I wouldn’t recommend this disc as an introduction to the composer’s work. For those only familiar with Penderecki’s orchestral music, however, the works here can be revelatory. The solo instrumental pieces especially reduce Penderecki’s music to its very essence. And the sextet shows how it all works once its reassembled.

Krzysztof Penderecki; Chamber Works, Vol. 1
Maria Machowski, violin; Artur Rozmyslowicz, viola; Jan Kalinowski, cello; Roman Widaszek, clarinet; Tadeusz Tomaszewski, horn; Marek Szlezer, piano

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