Kaddish: To the Victims of the Holocaust 15:44

Liner Notes

Radzynski’s Kaddish—To the Victims of the Holocaust was composed initially in 1979 for an ensemble of four amplified flutes, piano, percussion, and strings. It was subsequently expanded for symphony orchestra and received a special commendation at the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris in 1983.

He conceived this work following his first year at Yale as a student of Krzystof Penderecki. By that time, Penderecki had already entered a new and, by some standards, more conservative phase in his own works. But, as illustrated by Kaddish, Radzynski remained—at least at that point in his development—most influenced by his mentor’s earlier aesthetic inclinations, which emphasized splintered sounds, turbulent and abrupt changes in orchestral colors and overall tone, and ingenious exploitations of timbres and textures as musical parameters, reinforced by a keen sense of drama and timing. 

Kaddish is, in a sense, a programmatic work based on—and inspired by—the eponymous Aramaic liturgical text that forms the Jewish doxology and, in this case, its text variant, known as kaddish yatom, which is recited in memory of the dead (see the notes to Thomas Beveridge's Yizkor Requiem). This is a highly personal interpretation that uses both the text and the history of the kaddish recitation as a point of reference for instrumental expression. Its several brief sections reveal a variety of moods through reflective sighs, static jolts, and rapid panting gestures by various instrumental groupings and combinations. 

By: Neil W. Levin



Composer: Jan Radzynski

Length: 15:44
Genre: Symphonic

Performers: Barcelona Symphony-National Orchestra of CataloniaKarl Anton Rickenbacher, Conductor

Date Recorded: 01/01/2000
Venue: Centre Cultural de Sant Cugat (B), Barcelona, Spain
Engineer: Kornacher, Bertram
Assistant Engineer: Weir, Simon
Project Manager: Schwendener, Paul

Additional Credits:

Publisher: Keshet Music Publications


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