A real monument was given by Krzysztof Penderecki to Jerusalem on the 3000th anniversary of its foundation. For this occasion he composed his seventh symphony "Seven gates of Jerusalem". The premiere took place on January 9, 1997 in Jerusalem, and was attended by a huge international cast: choirs from Munich, Stuttgart and Leipzig and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lorin Maazel.
The composition, originally written as a genre of symphonies, grew into a monumental oratorio-cantata size, engaging a huge performative apparatus: an orchestra with an extensive drum section, three choirs, soloists and a narrator. The form of the work is also powerful - the seven movements of the work correspond to the seven legendary gates of the city, in which the composer uses texts taken from the Old Testament - the Book of Psalms and the Book of Prophets (Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Daniel and Isaiah). The fact that the spoken layer of the work is significant for the composer is in his recommendation that the text spoken by the narrator should always be in a language that the listener understands.
The composition rests as an example for the implementation of the "great synthesis" idea, in which the artist refers to universal values and combines the musical traditions of different eras with modern means of expression. Hence we can find in the symphony explicit references to the legacy of great creators of religious, vocal and instrumental forms, the genre of chorale, a cappella singing, and polichorality. Novum in the nearly hour-long song are tubaphones - instruments built of long pipes according to the design of Penderecki himself. The topophonic (spatial) distribution of the musicians also influences the uniqueness of the reception of the work.
Penderecki | 7 gates of Jerusalem
Symphony HallFilharmonia im. Mieczysława Karłowicza w Szczecinie
ul. Małopolska 48