Author Topic: Penderecki's Ubu Rex  (Read 3778 times)

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Offline Maciek

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Penderecki's Ubu Rex
« on: May 16, 2007, 02:26:24 AM »
Yesterday I gave a tentative first listen to the first few tracks of the first CD in this box:


Krzysztof Penderecki - Ubu Rex
Performers: Paweł Wunder, Anna Lubańska, Józef Frakstein, Izabela Kłosińska, Anna Karasińska, Jeanette Bożałek, Rafał Bartmiński, Mieczysław Milun, Rafał Siwek, Piotr Nowacki, Robert Dymowski, Andrzej Witlewski, Magdalena Andreew-Siwek, Krzysztof Szmyt, Przemysław Firek, Jacek Parol, Czesław Gałka, Ryszard Cieśla, Ryszard Wróblewski, Lech Łotocki, Chór i Orkiestra Teatru Wielkiego - Opery Narodowej w Warszawie, Bogdan Gola, Jacek Kaspszyk

Has anyone else heard this recording or maybe even seen the opera? What are your thoughts? What are your thoughts about Penderecki's operas in general?

I like The Devils of Loudun and loved Paradise Lost when I went to see it about 12 years ago - I'm not sure what my thoughts would be, if I heard it again today (my taste has changed considerably, and I generally like Penderecki much less nowadays). I've never heard or seen The Black Mask. I'll let you know my thoughts about this one (Ubu) once I'm done.

Cheers,
Maciek

Offline Brewski

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Re: Penderecki's Ubu Rex
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2007, 04:31:06 AM »
I have The Devils of Loudun on LP and recall liking it very much.  (I haven't heard it in years.)  A friend who included this in his thesis on four 20th-century operas said it didn't wear quite as well as he expected, after multiple hearings.  But that's the only Penderecki opera I've heard to date. 

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Offline MDL

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Re: Penderecki's Ubu Rex
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2007, 06:07:04 AM »
I saw a Polish production at Sadler's Wells in London a few years ago. The production was a lively affair which made extensive use of screen projections. The most interesting parts of the score for me came towards the end, during the battle and its aftermath, where Penderecki threw in some of his avant-garde tricks. OK, I'd heard them all before, but they were welcome anyway. The critic in the Guardian gave it one star out of five and a stinking review which I thought was a little harsh. I've got the recording (I had some record vouchers to spend) but I haven't listened to it that much.

I heard The Black Mask on the radio decades ago. Can't remember a thing about it.

I haven't heard Paradise Lost and I don't think anybody's going to stage it or record it any time soon. What's that like?

No, for me, The Devils of Loudun is Penderecki's best stage work. I've got the CDs, while the recently released DVD has been receiving some uncharacteristically good reviews from the UK press.

Offline Maciek

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Re: Penderecki's Ubu Rex
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2007, 01:52:56 PM »
I saw a Polish production at Sadler's Wells in London a few years ago. The production was a lively affair which made extensive use of screen projections.

That must have been the same production as the one on the CDs (photos here).

Quote
I haven't heard Paradise Lost and I don't think anybody's going to stage it or record it any time soon. What's that like?

Well, I don't remember the details. I really liked the production, it really took advantage of the size of the Warsaw stage (Marek Weiss-Grzesiński's outstanding work). The music was grandiose, with a real lot of brass and choir but I really liked it. Somehow it seemed very appropriate for the subject matter. Quite accessible - the opera comes from the early days of Penderecki's romantic phase (but then even Penderecki's avantgarde works are accessible, isn't it?).

Maciek