Monday, May 25, 2015

MONDAY, MAY 25, 2015

"The aim of art is to represent not the outward
 appearance of things, but their inward significance."
AUTHOR: Aristotle
"Art is a very powerful communication tool often used
  by the artist to help bring about changes in the world."

(Tren ofiarom Hiroszimy in Polish) is a
instruments, composed in 1960 by 
Krzysztof Penderecki (b. 1933), which
took third prize at the Grzegorz Fitelberg
Composers' Competition in Katowice in
1960. The piece swiftly attracted
interest around the world and made
its young composer famous.
Krzysztof Penderecki
The piece, perhaps as a nod to John Cage,
originally called 8'37" (at times also 8'26"),
applies the sonoristic technique and rigors
of specific counterpoint to an ensemble of
strings treated to unconventional scoring.
Penderecki later said
"It existed only in my imagination,
in a somewhat abstract way."
When he heard an actual performance,
"I was struck by the emotional charge of
the work...I searched for associations
and, in the end, I decided to dedicate
it to the Hiroshima victims."
A painting from a person who was in Hiroshima
at the time of the a bombing.
Michiko Hattori: Rescuing victims for three days and nights without food or drink.
Courtesy of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
The piece tends to leave an impression
both solemn and catastrophic, earning
its classification as a threnody. On
October 12, 1964, Penderecki wrote,
"Let the Threnody express my firm belief
that the sacrifice of Hiroshima will
never be forgotten and lost."
Hiroshima, Japan before and after the dropping of the atomic bomb in 1945
Hiroshima Atomic Bomb (1945)
The piece's unorthodox, largely symbol-
based score sometimes directs the
musicians to play at various unspecific
points in their range or to concentrate
on certain textural effects; they are directed
to play on the opposite side of the bridge
Penderecki sought to heighten
the effects of traditional chromaticism by using "
hypertonality," composing in quarter tones,
which sometimes makes dissonance
more prominent than it would
be in traditional tonality.
The piece includes an "invisible

canon," in 36 voices, an overall musical 

texture that is more important than the
individual notes, making it a leading
example of sound mass composition. As
a whole, Threnody constitutes one of the
most extensive elaborations
Animated Score


Krzysztof Penderecki
Krzysztof Penderecki
by Tacet
Threnody can be split into 3 parts:
(Indicated times are taken from the video above.)

Part 1 at 0:00 opens with the musicians
bowing their highest notes, with the 52
players gradually brought into a mass of
sound. At 0:18 slow quarter tone vibrato
is combined with fast, regular vibrato in
the violins and violas. At 0:52 the playing
descends into percussive effects with the
musicians offered a choice of “musical
patterns” to follow. Sounds overlap, slide
apart, and build to a cacophonous cluster
at 4:50 before dropping to a single
sustained cello line by 5:33 and then a
fade into 5 seconds of silence at 5:50.

Part 2 at 5:56 marks an abrupt change in
texture with a scattered collection of sounds
feeling almost improvisatory, and yet bound
in the veiled symmetry of a 36-voice canon.

Part 3 returns to the music of the opening by
7:30, with overlapping clouds of sound
building to a huge tone cluster.

I Come and Stand by Every Door
Written By:  Nazim Hikmet
and Pete Seeger
I Come and Stand by Every Door
I come and stand by every door
But none can hear my silent tread
And none can see me where I stand
For I am dead, for I am dead.
I was only seven when I died
In Hiroshima long ago
I'm seven now as I was then
When children die, they do not grow.
My hear was scorched by swirling flame
My eyes grew dim, my eyes grew blind
The fire turned my bones to dust
And it was scattered by the wind.
I need no meat, I need no rice,
I need no sweets, nor even bread
I need nothing for myself
For I am dead, for I am dead.
All that I ask is that for peace
You strive today, you strive today
That the children of a future time
May live to grow and run and play.
A child's tricycle and helmut found after the bomb was detonated.
Stéphane Chabrières: Hiroshima, 1992