Greenwood: Popcorn. 48 Responses to Polymorphia. Penderecki: Threnody. Polymorphia

Album review
Greenwood: Popcorn. 48 Responses to Polymorphia. Penderecki: Threnody. Polymorphia

Krzysztof Penderecki, Jonny Greenwood

Popcorn 48 Responses to Polymorphia/ Threnody

Label: Nonesuch
Media: CD
Genre: Classical

Jonny Greenwood, guitarist for Radiohead and composer of the soundtrack to There Will Be Blood, has written two Penderecki- influenced pieces for strings. Popcorn Superhet Receiver is a study in orchestral white noise, full of seductive washes of sound, sighing glissandos, dense block chords, and lovely melodic fragments played off against surging rhythmic passages. 48 Responses to Polymorphia begins with the same C Major chord that Pendericki ends his piece Polymorphia with, then goes on to a Bach-like chorale, followed by episodes of dissonance, sweetness, vigor, and tension, with that initial chord making an occasional return. The two pieces by Penderecki himself are no-holds-barred avant-garde grotesques, with Polymorphia being even further out there than his notoriously rebarbative Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima: its musical lines are shaped according to the encephalographs of some mental patients in Krakow taken after they listened to his Threnody! The Aukso Orchestra is more than capable of wending it way through this thorny weirdness; Nonesuch’s sonics are up-close but not too dry. Another rendition of Popcorn, with several fascinating experimental pieces by other composers, is on an Analekta disc, From Here On Out

More Info

  • primary artist, Krzysztof Penderecki
  • primary artist, Jonny Greenwood
  • CD

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