Krzysztof Penderecki Itinerarium

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Itinerarium (itinerary, plan, diary, travel account);
Latin iter, genitive itineris (road, long march, voyage)

The modern and contesting character of the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery developed partially into a challenge to try to create an unusual situation here. In the present exhibition of music notation sketches by Krzysztof Penderecki, we are trying to provide a synthesis of three languages of art: architecture, fine arts and music.The labyrinth constructed in the vast space of the Bunkier Sztuki gives the viewer an opportunity to perform a magic trip from the domain of Regressus ad uterum (Return to the Beginning) to the domain of Refugium - Hortus Musicus (Refuge - Musical Garden). The structure of this exhibition makes reference to the composer's concept, since he set his heart especially on the space of labyrinth. After constructing a labyrinth garden in his Lusławice manor house several years ago, the composer conceived another one, a more distant and sophisticated in its structure.

The essence of this exhibition is developing the phenomenon of musical sketches by Krzysztof Penderecki. This is a unique musical notation due to its structure, colours and power of expression. The criteria of selecting the works for this exhibition adopted by us are subjective, of course. They have been determined by our script and visual values of particular sketches (as well as their availability, since unfortunatelly we were unable to find in the composer's archives any sketches relating to his juvenile Psalms of David which are extremely important from the viewpoint of our script).

The viewer has an opportunity to experience unusual diversity of substance used for producing music records by the artist, with its volatility of signs, colour accents and techniques (starting with primary, monochromatic sketches for the Threnody and Passion, abandoned later for the sake of colourful markers).

The nature of the sketch is that it develops the intact: the composer's ideas, his ardour, vibrations of the spirit, tests and deletions. As Nikolaus Harnoncourt wrote in his book of Music as Speech of Sounds (in the chapter on What a manuscript says): "For each musician, writing sheet music is equivalent to a graphic presentation of acoustic events developing in his imagination. Thus, it is natural that the emotional contents of the piece also affect the very notation: simply, one cannot describe a stunning portion of an allegro or breathtaking harmonic movement with delicate and neat notes; expression of each movement must somehow be rendered in the notation (...)". On the margins of Penderecki's sketches, we can also find his personal remarks, including telephone numbers, venues of his international tours, or titles of both completed and future compositions. So, it is also a unique diary kept by the composer.

Will this exhibition expand the scope of perception of the artist's works? How fascinating and inspiring it is not only for a small group of musicians and musicologists is demonstrated in the contributions by outstanding authors contained in this catalogue. Exhibition is a game, an interpretation and an attempt at attracting the viewer into the sophisticated and impressive world of musical notations by Krzysztof Penderecki. We are getting closer to it and reconstruct the itinerary.

Zbigniew Baran

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