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Symphony No. 7 “Seven Gates of Jerusalem” Naxos
8.557766


Composer: Krzysztof Penderecki

Conductor: Antoni Wit

Orchestra: Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra

Choir: Warsaw Philharmonic Choir


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.

Symphony No. 7 “Seven Gates of Jerusalem”
Review

Antoni Wit's ongoing cycle of Penderecki orchestral works is yet
another of those truly outstanding Naxos projects that's unlikely to get the
attention it deserves. The music isn't easy, or popular, but Wit is a marvelous
conductor in this repertoire, and his unfailingly intense and idiomatic
performances look to become the standard by which all others will be judged.
This new release just may be the best so far.

The Seven Gates, though largely nonthreatening in its use of consonant
harmony, is a very difficult work to perform. The choral and solo writing is
tiring (if often incredibly moving and impressive), and the presence of a
lengthy narration may bother some listeners. In my opinion Penderecki is one of
the very few composers who can pull it off, and here he does so
magnificently.



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