Most are familiar with Pederecki’s work thanks to Stanley Kubrick’s use of his Threnody in the classic movie 2001: A Space Odyssey; the world and its dog are familiar with Greenwood as he’s a member of Radiohead.
Here these two titans clash, but don’t burn in a musical fashion. Across 15 cues the composers have two works each, with an overlapping of extreme sound and touch that help them sit well together. It’s modern classical; we have drawn-out string cascades and moans, unpredictable percussive chatters, anthropomorphic flourishes and occasional use of field recordings. There are crashes, wallops and harsh string treatments but, overall, it’s an emotional ride that projects strong senses of yearning, confusion, intense loss and mourning – exactly as threnody should. It’s Penderecki at his very best and Greenwood at his most progressively modern; it’s certainly not for everyone, but right for those with adventurous contemporary taste.