Krzysztof Penderecki

Utrenia II: The Resurrection of Christ, for 5 soloists, boy's choir, chorus & orchestra

    Description by "Blue" Gene Tyranny

    This is the second part of the diptych of which "Utrenya I: The Entombment of Christ" is the first part. This oratorio, composed during 1970-71 and premiered on May 28, 1971, is scored for five vocal soloists, boys' choir, a mixed choir, and a symphony orchestra with a considerably larger number of percussive and "onomatopoeic" instruments, such as clappers, rattles, bells, and glockenspiels.

    In contrast to "Utrenya I," this work is one of unrestrained festive joy and wonder, the spirit of an earthy world of two thousand years ago projected onto a contemporary landscape of cosmic dimensions.

    The sections of this oratorio are: Ewangelia, Stichira, Psalm with Paschal Tropar, Passover Canon, Kontakion, Oikos, and a final Passover Canon with fragments of previous songs.

    Like the first part, the vocal writing contains dramatic and mysterious tone clusters. Inspired by the Passover Utrenya celebration in the Russian Orthodox Church, there are declarative chants, such as the recurring song refrain "Christos woskresie!" in that rhythmically reiterated and punctuated chordal style in pure modal writing. This litany singing is often interrupted by choral polyphony.

    Contrasted to "Utrenya I," there are many more duets in which the voices imitate each other using the same words but in different musical variations. These duets create the image of ecstatic conversations.

    The instrumental writing likewise often uses the most extreme pitch and volume ranges producing sounds not usually associated with those instruments. A remarkable and moving work.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2014 Dux Records DUX 0964
    2009 Naxos 505224