In the 1990s, Penderecki wrote two monumental vocal and instrumental works: “7th Symphony, The Seven Gates of Jerusalem” and “Credo”. The latter piece was commissioned by conductor Helmuth Rilling for the Bach Festival in Oregon and the Bach Academy in Stuttgart. It was intended to be the entire mass, but the composer decided to set only the central, longest part to music and expanded it into an independent piece.
Finale of the Krzysztof Penderecki Festival at the Grand Theater – National Opera
The resulting composition is both very personal, as evidenced by the selection of lyrics, and impressive in its scale. To perform it, five solo voices, a mixed choir, a boys’ choir, an orchestra and an additional ensemble of wind instruments placed off the stage are needed. “Credo” is divided into seven sections, in its center there is the part “Crucixifus” (Crucified) combined with the fragment “Crucem tuam adoramus, Domine” (We adore Your cross, Lord).
The piece uses not only the text of the mass, but also refers to the Latin Roman liturgy, the Polish Catholic tradition and the German Protestant tradition. The anthem “Pange lingua” (liturgy of Holy Thursday), the antiphon “Crux fidelis” and the improperium “Popule meus” (Good Friday adoration of the cross), the anthem “Salve festa dies” (procession of Holy Saturday) and “Et septimus angelus” from the Apocalypse of St. John and “Haec dies” from Psalm 117 (Holy Sunday liturgy). Penderecki also included in the confession of faith the song “Ludu, my people” (Polish version of Popule meus) and the pleading invocation “Who suffered wounds for us” from the service of bitter regrets. The Polish tradition is intertwined with the German one – Penderecki used a fragment of the psalm “Aus tiefer Not” known from Protestant chant.
The finale of the Krzysztof Penderecki Festival is scheduled for November 26, with the concert starting at 7:00 p.m. in the Moniuszko Hall of the Grand Theater – National Opera. Krzysztof Penderecki’s “Credo” will be performed by Natalia Rubiś: 1st soprano, Karolina Sikora: 2nd soprano, Anna Radziejewska: mezzo-soprano, Krystian Krzeszowiak: tenor, Wojtek Gierlach: bass. The choir and orchestra of the Grand Theater – National Opera and the RUBINKI children’s choir (A. Rubinstein State Music School Complex in Bydgoszcz) will be conducted by Maciej Tworek.
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