Two Scenes and Finale from The Black Mask
Recording not available.
Penderecki arranged two scenes and the Finale from his one-act opera The Black Mask in 1988 for soprano, mezzo-soprano, mixed choir and orchestra. It is a kind of suite “for concert performance”. The first and so far only performance took place in Poznań in November 1988, conducted by Wojciech Michniewski.A year earlier, The Black Mask had received its Polish premiere in Poznań’s Grand Theatre. Staged by Ryszard Peryt and Mieczysław Dondajewski, it was hailed by critics as one of the outstanding opera productions in Poland. After the premiere, the artists received a 15-minute ovation. The concert performance of selected fragments from the opera was a follow-up on this success. The new version of Two Scenes and Finale was promptly published by Schott. And this was almost all…except for one more special performance held in November 2012 in Jelenia Góra, the city associated with Gerhart Hauptmann, whose play provided the basis for the opera’s libretto. The programme consisted of excerpts from The Black Mask in concert version, without soloists – which meant that the choice of fragments differed from that published by Schott – performed in the context of music by Wagner and Richard Strauss. It was a significant choice, reflecting the perception of Penderecki’s work as related to both neoromantic and expressionist aesthetics.