The Omsk State Drama Theater (main stage)

Krzysztof Penderecki


Symphony No. 2

Largo for cello and orchestra


Polish Requiem


Conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki

Soloist - Tatyana Vasylieva (France)


Krzysztof Penderecki  is a progressive Polish composer. It is often said about his music, that "it is made of noises, not tones" One of his main ideas is to ample the traditional musical expressive means in order to effectively communicate his emotions to the listener. In his pieces for the choir,  he uses whispers, screams and whistles; Penderecki also makes use of extended instrumental techniques on string instruments - knocks, screeches, rubbing etc.


Penderecki was born on November 23, 1933 in Debica (Poland) After graduating from the Academy of Music in Krakow he became a professor of polyphony and composition, later he taught the same subjects at the Essen (Germany) and Yale (USA).


Penderecki's international recognition began in 1960 after the expressive and dynamic Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima (Tren pamieci ofiar Hiroszimy), written for 52 string instruments. Then followed the Polimorphie for 48 string instruments, a composition based on  encephalograms of sick people, made while listening to the Threnody. It is full of unusual techniques, such as knocking on sound boards, various glissandos etc. His interest in religion resulted in St. Luke Passion (Passio et mors Domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum Lucam, 1966) and Utrenja (Morning Prayer); in these pieces he uses the scripts of the orthodox church, written in Church Slavic.


Penderecki's  operas has drown attention of many theaters from many different countries. "The Devils of Loudon", (based on the book of the same name by Aldous Huxley) is a story of mass hysteria among nuns in the convent, conveying feelings of insanity and elaborately portraying the characters in psychotic states. The "Paradise Lost" based on the epic poem of the same name by Milton was staged in 1978, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago







Not too long ago he was called a Polish genius. Now he is a number 1 internationally recognized composer, one of the most charismatic and creative musicians of today, a brilliant conductor.

It took him a long time to become who he is now. During his career he worked with all the styles of the XX century, combining them with the priceless musical traditions of the past centuries. He took the best from classics and modern music, and became known as Mr. Musical Synthesis.     

Tamara Grum-Grzhimalo "Literaturnaya Gazeta" 2003