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Krzysztof Penderecki (s. 1933) would be the choice for many people as the greatest living 21st century symphonist. This boxed set gives a good idea of his symphonic oeuvre since it contains the symphonies completed by the composer until now. It should be noted that this box doesn't contain the 'mysterious' Symphony No. 6 which the composer has been writing for several years already. Although the first symphony is fairly radical in style, already the 2nd symphony has a fairly 'conservative' touch. In general, Penderecki's symphonic oeuvre seem to be related to that of Shostakovich. The last two symphonies contain vocal elements, which might also bring Mahler into mind.
The recordings of the symphonies are conducted by the Polish conductor Antoni Wit, who had the privilege of studying composition with the composer himself. All in all, Penderecki's works are marked by unquestionable quality and craftsmanship. Probably these recordings will be very much listened in the decades to come.
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NAXOS merely took 5 existing CDs and popped them into a garishly attractive box, rather than think through and compile a true box set. Such a box set would have mixed larger and smaller works, earlier and later, and placed the symphonic work in their designated order. That would have befitted this composer and been influential in attracting new listeners. Instead, we get a pre-packaged group of 5 CDs. Oh well, another missed opportunity. The music? Earlier is the better I think, but it is all strong enough to warrant listening, and Wit does all that is desired with these pieces.