Krzysztof Penderecki – Symphony No.3 (IV. Passacaglia. Allegro Moderato)

Krzysztof Penderecki is a composer and conductor. Born on 23th of November, 1933, in Dębica. In the history of 20th century music, his career stands out for his fast rise to the top, matched by none, with the possible exception of Strawiński.


Krzysztof Penderecki was born in Dębica (in yiddish – Dembitz), a town in south-eastern Poland, in 1933. Before World War II the town was mostly inhabited by Hassidic Jew. He comes from a multi-cultural family with Armenian-German-Polish roots. His grandfather was a German evangelical; his grandmother came from Stanisławów (now Ivano-Frankovsk, Ukraine) and was Armenian. The composer told the Polish Radio:

It’s a strange thing that this music, which I had in my ears then, now returns. In two of my pieces klezmer music came back in a way in which I was aware of it – the Sextet (2000), and even the Concerto grosso (2001). I most likely heard motifs like these as a child.

He started his musical adventure with private piano lessons but quickly grew tired of them. His affection for music was born when he saw his father’s violin. He was taken by the mystery of the violin, by the difficulty of playing even one clear note. Penderecki desired to become a virtuoso and practised Bach’s sonatas after school. In junior high school, he founded a band and started bringing Dębica’s musical scene to life. He soon went to Kraków to study composition.


Original article: Krzysztof Penderecki


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