The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Kent Nagano are proud to release, under BIS-Records and distributed in North America by Naxos of America, the Penderecki – St Luke Passion, recorded on the opening night of the prestigious Felsenreitschule Salzburg Festival in July of 2018. The renowned polish composer and conductor Krzysztof Penderecki, who regretfully past away last March, was present in the audience the evening of the OSM’s concert.
The OSM has maintained a special relationship with the Polish composer and conductor for close to 50 years. In addition to having played many of his works, the Orchestra had the privilege of being conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki on many occasions, the first time being on March 27, 1979. His most recent appearance was on September 20, 2015, when he conducted the OSM Chorus in the Canadian première of his Psaume III.
FROM KENT NAGANO
Since the 1960’s generations have been acutely aware of the special compositional will and creative power of Krzysztof Penderecki.
The credo of expression in his artistry, which always seems as self-evident as it is convincing, set him apart as an avant-gardist – while he remained a romantic. A traditionalist and one who was able to resist and defend against the seductions of time, Penderecki has nevertheless experimented relentlessly. As he boldly composed in the atonal, aleatoric, and electronic languages, however, he was above all concerned with content of the statement and the resonance it potentially had upon those who listened to his music.
Penderecki was a humanist and brought his understanding of man and worldview to the fore in traditional work formats. He showed courage in terms of change as he made enemies out of the avant-garde camp as he confidently went his own way. One cannot imagine the Christian tradition of Europe and its timeless ties to the social developments of the world without him.
Clearly, he was a cosmopolitan yet was at the same time rooted in a deep relationship with nature. Nothing could demonstrate this more clearly than the collection of trees he brought back with him from his visits to all corners of the world which he then planted in his private garden-forest surrounding his home.
Following a rehearsal the St Luke Passion, he once invited me to his home and as we sat before and within this magnificent universal forest, suddenly it seemed clear to me that Krzysztof Penderecki was the very incarnation of human creativity and, as such, his music is of timeless value to our generation and to the generations to come. – Kent Nagano