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Dies Irae (Auschwitz Oratorium)

Recorded Sound | RG Number: RG-91.1973

The oratorio Dies Irae (1967) by Krzysztof Penderecki (Poland; b. 1933) is scored for solo voices, mixed choir, and orchestra. Its musical texture is dominated by unorthodox sonorities—the choir shouts, buzzes, and whistles; scrapers, chains, whips, and sirens sound out from the instrumentarium—intended to graphically express (in the composer’s words) “the ghastliness of history.” Incorporating biblical verse and texts by Aeschylus, Valéry, Aragon, Różewicz and Broniewski, and dedicated to the memory of those murdered at Auschwitz, Dies Irae premiered at the unveiling in 1967 of the International Monument to the Victims of Fascism at Birkenau. (Adapted from "Music," in The Oxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies (2010).

Date
Recorded:  1967
Language
Music
Genre/Form
Music.
 
Record last modified: 2021-06-16 17:01:33
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