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PENDERECKI, K.: Seven Gates of Jerusalem, "'Symphony No. 7" (Warsaw Philharmonic, Wit)

Composer(s):Penderecki, Krzysztof
Period(s) Contemporary
Genre Classical Music
Category Choral - Sacred
Catalogue 8.557766
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

Jerusalem has special significance for Penderecki, who first visited it in 1974, following the ‘Yom Kippur’ war. He was commissioned then to write a work for the third millennium celebration of the city of David. He composed the oratorio Seven Gates of Jerusalem in 1996 – the Eighth Gate being reserved for the Messiah in Jewish tradition. It was premièred there the following year, with Lorin Maazel conducting. Following the work’s Polish première, the composer decided to call it his Seventh Symphony.


Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

Penderecki decided only after the first performance of this magnificent work, designed to celebrate the third millennium of the city of Jerusalem, to include it among his symphonies. It is a massive cantata in seven movements, setting Psalms in Hebrew, with Penderecki handling colossal forces with thrilling mastery. He was right to underline the symphonic element in this way, as the sequence of movements brings together the choral and symphonic elements in his work very effectively. The figure ‘7’ is used obsessively, not least in seven-note themes. The very opening is shattering in its impact, setting Psalm 48, while the longest of the seven movements is the fifth, Lauda Zion, setting Psalm 147, a Scherzo introduced by timpani ad percussion. With



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