MARIAN BORKOWSKI (b.1934): Visions II for String Orchestra, Limits for Orchestra, Dram for Orchestra, Pax in terra II for Female Voice, Percussion and Organ (Malgorzata Armanowska [soprano], Andrzej Chorosinski [organ], Cracow Percussion Group), Variant for Instrumental Ensemble (Korean Chamber Orchestra), for Chorus and Orchestra: De profundis, Hymnus, Dies irae.
Catalogue Number: 04Q077
Description: Like many Polish composers finally released from Soviet-dictated requirements of Socialist Realism, Borkowski whole-heartedly embraced the most avant-garde methods of sonorism, not unlike Penderecki, who also used this new and thrilling vocabulary to set Catholic texts. Borkowski's individual style involves the presentation of successive blocks of starkly contrasted material, precisely layered and juxtaposed for the maximum intensity of dramatic effect. Fierce clusters from full orchestra or organ, an episode of apocalyptic, battering percussion or one of extraordinary extended technique textures may be followed by unison or homophonic, homorhythmic choral statement, or even a passage with a temporary but unmistakable tonal center, or an extended silence. The texts are fragmented and set as aphoristic fragments, the choir used as a huge melodic instrument. Some extended passages - most of Dram, for instance - have a vigorous rhythmic component either underpinning the massed clusters of explosively exposed. The works from this side of the millennium - Visions II, Hymnus and Dies irae - display a marked shift in emphasis, toward sumptuous neo-romantic harmony. The massive contoured layers of sonority are still present, as are the sheer magnificence of scale, but the language begins to approach conventional tonality. No texts. Musica Sacra Warsaw-Praga Cathedral Choir, Warsaw University Choir, Fryderyk Chopin Universitiy of Music Symphony Orchestra, Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and Chorus Bialystok, Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Piotr Borkowski.