Launching Penderecki’s 85th-birthday year in Armenia

Posted on: February 28, 2018

“Early in February, the Armenian capital city of Yerevan was the first to crack open the Champagne for Krzysztof Penderecki’s 85th birthday year,” writes Oliver Condy in Friday’s (2/23) BBC Music Magazine (U.K.). “The Polish composer’s family tree contains Armenian traces. Under the umbrella of the Penderecki 85th birthday Festival, Polish musicians joined with the city’s two symphony orchestras and choirs for four concerts of Penderecki’s choral, chamber and orchestral music. Central Yerevan is blessed with two fine concert venues: the Komitas Chamber Hall, a concrete 800-seat venue with fine acoustics and host to a concert of Penderecki’s unaccompanied choral works by the spectacularly fine, beautifully blended Hover State Chamber Choir. Just down the road sits the … 1,600-seat Aram Khachaturian Hall. And it was here that the festival’s final concert took place-a performance of the composer’s wildly ambitious Symphony No. 7, ‘The Seven Gates of Jerusalem,’ by the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra and various gathered choirs…. Scored for two sopranos, alto, tenor, bass, narrator, chorus and orchestra, the symphony also calls for a couple of tubaphones, an instrument invented by Penderecki specially for the work…. Their appearance at either side of the colossal orchestra made for a thrilling sight.”

Posted February 28, 2018