The new album featuring works by Krzysztof Penderecki and those they inspired by Jonny Greenwood itself stemmed from a concert in Poland last fall that paired the composers' works. Tonight, the AUKSO Chamber Orchestra, which performed in the original concert and on the album, will perform the album's music at London's Barbican Hall. "Penderecki's Threnody still has the power to shock," says The Observer, "while Greenwood's Popcorn Superhet Receiver is already a modern classic." Consequence of Sound gives the new album four stars, calling it "one of the most ambitious albums of the year so far"; Greenwood's pieces "fit exquisitely next to the old master’s."
The new album featuring works by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki and those they inspired by composer/guitarist Jonny Greenwood—Penderecki's Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima and Polymorphia (for 48 strings) and Greenwood's Popcorn Superhet Receiver and 48 Responses to Polymorphia—itself stemmed from a concert in Poland last fall that presented the composers' works side by side. Tonight, the AUKSO Chamber Orchestra, which performed in the original concert and on the album, will perform all four pieces at Barbican Hall in London as part of the tenth Kinoteka Poilsh Film Festival. Penderecki will lead the ensemble in his pieces and Marek Moś will lead them in Greenwood's pieces, as on the album.
"Penderecki's Threnody (1960) still has the power to shock, while Greenwood's Popcorn Superhet Receiver (2005) is already a modern classic," says The Observer's Stephen Pritchard, in a review of the new album, which debuted in the Top 10 on the UK classical charts. Greenwood's "48 Responses is as surprising as it is original, taking the one brief moment of tonality in Penderecki's Polymorphia and developing it into a Bach-like chorale that morphs and splinters into a series of brief, hallucinatory movements." Read the complete review at guardian.co.uk.
The project was recently the subject of a feature article in the Daily Telegraph. "The transformation of Radiohead from a rock band that played drums and guitars into an experimental one is partly thanks to Jonny Greenwood’s obsession with the music of the 78-year-old Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki," writes the Telegraph's Adam Sweeting.
For his part, Penderecki tells Sweeting: “If you’d asked me 50 years ago, I would have said the future of music is only electronic, but I would have been wrong. I learnt how to produce everything I needed with live instrumentalists, so I don’t need electronics.”
Read the article at telegraph.co.uk.
Sweeting expands on the topic for a more extensive article on the Penderecki/Greenwood collaboration for The Arts Desk, including more from his interview with Greenwood. You'll find that article at theartsdesk.com.
Consequence of Sound gives the new album four stars, calling it "one of the most ambitious albums of the year so far." Reviewer David DiLillo says "Greenwood’s modern, literal responses to Penderecki’s work from decades ago fit exquisitely next to the old master’s pieces ... [H]is collaboration with his living inspiration stands as a testament to his own compositional dexterity, Penderecki’s legacy, and the pairing of old and new, chaos and creation." Read the review at consequenceofsound.net.
To pick up a copy of the album, head to the Nonesuch Store, where CD orders include high-quality, 320 kbps MP3s of the album at checkout. It is also available to purchase there as MP3s and FLAC lossless files.