The new album pairing works by Krzysztof Penderecki with those they inspired by Jonny Greenwood has been named June's Recording of the Month by Stereophile. It's "a fulfilling, call and response between student and teacher where the younger composer tries to push forward the ideas that the older man began," says Stereophile. The album's sound quality is "superb throughout: detailed, spacious and breathtakingly transparent." Greenwood's work will be performed at the Spoleto Festival this weekend; the album's repertoire can be heard at Poland's Open'er Festival in July.
The recent Nonesuch Records release pairing works by Krzysztof Penderecki with those they inspired by composer/guitarist Jonny Greenwood has been named the Recording of the Month in the June issue of Stereophile magazine. On the album are Penderecki's Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima and Polymorphia (for 48 strings) and Greenwood's Popcorn Superhet Receiver and 48 Responses to Polymorphia.
While the history of collaborations between classical composers and rock musicians may include some unfortunate results, it is possible for such artists to "highlight each other's peculiar vision as this exquisite sounding collaboration between Radiohead's classically-inclined guitar player and Poland's greatest living composer so forcefully demonstrates," asserts Stereophile's Robert Baird.
"Greenwood's compositional skills are real," says Baird, "and on this disc the four pieces ... have the feel of being an exercise in a fulfilling, call and response between student and teacher where the younger composer tries to push forward the ideas that the older man began."
The reviewer notes the inclusion of Greenwood's Popcorn Superhet Receiver in his acclaimed score to the P.T. Anderson film There Will Be Blood, explaining that Greenwood "follows many of Penderecki's leads" on the piece, "the odd yet affecting mix of solemn and convulsive, pensive, menacing glissandos, insectine drones, his gift for lush atonality with ominous rising modulations that echo the warnings implicit in Penderecki's song of mourning," Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima.
Baird concludes by praising the recording's sound quality as "superb throughout: detailed, spacious and breathtakingly transparent, the hushed passages with a remarkable resonance, while the signature torrents of pensive strings are formidable gales of pure sound. Overall, a classical/rock project that more than exceeds expectations."
Read the complete review at stereophile.com.
To pick up a copy of the album, head to the Nonesuch Store, where CD orders include an instant download of the album at checkout; it is also available to purchase there as MP3s and FLAC lossless files.
Jonny Greenwood's music will be paired with the work of another iconic composer this coming weekend at the renowned Spoleto Festival, when the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, led by Resident Conductor John Kennedy, performs 48 Responses to Polymorphia and Greenwood's earlier work Doghouse along with the American premiere performances of the last Cage works yet to be heard in the US: the orchestral trilogy Twenty-Six, Twenty-Eight, and Twenty-Nine (1991). For details, go to spoletousa.org.
The repertoire from the Penderecki/Greenwood Nonesuch album will be performed by at this year's Open'er Festival in Gdynia, Poland, on July 5. Performing in the concert is the AUKSO Orchestra, which performs on the album. For information, go to opener.pl.