Penderecki: A sea of dreams did breathe on me...

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Composed for the final concert of the Chopin bicentenary celebrations in Warsaw in 2010, Krzysztof Penderecki’s Powia?o na mnie morze snów… (A sea of dreams did breathe on me…) is an extended song cycle comparable in scale to the composer’s Eighth Symphony [Naxos 8.570450]. The individual songs, settings of both Romantic and contemporary Polish poetry grouped into larger movements, chart a progression from an almost impressionistic lightness to monumentality, the expressive tenor of the music ranging widely – nostalgic for loss, but also tense and impassioned. Antoni Wit, Polish conductor non-pareil and for over a decade the managing and artistic director of the Warsaw Philharmonic, is at the conductor’s podium leading the orchestra, chorus and soloists gathered together for this grandly-scaled, important project.



As one by now expects as a matter of course, conductor Antoni Wit and the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra provide letter-perfect renditions that also fully capture the spirit as well. While the difficulties of mastering the Polish language (not a particularly mellifluous one for singing) may prove a hindrance to this work entering the standard repertoire, on the basis of musical merits it fully deserves such placement; a stronger piece than the recent and uneven Symphony No. 8, for me this confirms Penderecki’s status as the world’s greatest living composer. Naxos provides excellent recorded sound, and Polish-English texts in the booklet rather than online. Urgently and emphatically recommended.

– Fanfare

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: 8573062

  • UPC: 747313306275

  • Label: Naxos

  • Composer: Krzysztof Penderecki

  • Conductor: Antoni Wit

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Warsaw Philharmonic Chorus, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra

  • Performer: Ewa Marciniec, Jaroslav Brek, Olga Pasichnyk