Penderecki’s Operas

Apr 23, 2007
I have never found a recording, or heard a broadcast of Penderecki’s Paradise Lost. However there are recordings available for two of his other operas, The Devil of Loudin and Ubu Roi. The Devil of Loudin is based on the Aldous Huxley novel and was written during his more experimental early phase. It is quite amazing to listen to, and I imagine even more amazing to watch. Ubu Roi is an absurd comic opera based on the play by Afred Jarry and written in his later post-romantic style. Paradise Lost was the work that initiated his post-romantic phase and many of the works written after it sound a bit like variations on the themes and motifs of the opera. There are several recordings of the “Adagietto” from that opera if you want to hear a free-standing excerpt.

All his other work is well worth exploring. I have been a fan for many, many years. I would especially recommend Threnody for the victims of Hiroshima, his First Violin Concerto, the Christmas Symphony No. 2 and his Clarinet Quartet. In addition to being really enjoyable works, they give a nice overview of the development of his musical language over time and are widely available on many recordings.


~ by severalfourmany on April 23, 2007.

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