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Requiem for my Friend
Album Cover Art
Composed and Produced by:
Zbigniew Preisner

Performed by:
Sinfonia Varsovia
Varsov Chamber Choir

Conducted by:
Roman Rewakowicz
Jacek Kaspszyk
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LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Atlantic Records/Erato/Warner Classics
(February 16th, 1999)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you succumb to the power of dark, mystical, and thematically gripping choral music in even its most solemn and deliberate forms.

Avoid it... if you expect either of the two concerts on the album to convey the same power that they undoubtedly do when heard in person on location.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #567
WRITTEN 3/11/99, REVISED 4/15/07
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Preisner
Preisner
Requiem for My Friend: (Zbigniew Preisner) In the mid-1990's, Polish composer Zbigniew Preisner was working on a collaboration with his close associate, director Krzysztof Kieslowski, and screenwriter Krzysztof Piesiewicz that would have produced the kind of massive operatic concert at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece that Vangelis and others had strived to create through the years. Their collaboration was quite fruitful, yielding the films and scores for the Colours Trilogy (Blue, White, and Red) as well as Dekalog and The Double Life of Veronique. Preisner's other notable film scores of the previous ten years had included the highly acclaimed At Play in the Fields of the Lord and The Secret Garden. His work on this new massive concert piece was only halfway completed when Kieslowski passed away in 1996, changing the focus of work from strictly the operatic concert to one that combined that material with a requiem written in the memory of Kieslowski. Attaching the 30-minute "Requiem" to the original concert material titled "Life," the combined pieces would subsequently be performed around Europe. By 1999, a performance of the material was recorded for international distribution on album, and while the two halves definitely speak towards different goals, they offer a treat to Preisner collectors and those who enjoy the phenomenal sound quality that well-recorded live performance albums can often yield. The first half of the album, the "Requiem," exists in nine movements and was composed for a smaller ensemble of a soprano, organ, two countertenors, tenor, bass, string quintet and percussion. It was recorded in Warsaw Cathedral and the Emaus Church in Cracow, and the effect of the large recording facility on the acoustics is stunning. Consisting of some weighty choral performances in Latin and Polish, the "Requiem" movements are extremely protracted and restrained. Very lengthy sequences of near silence and the solemn solo organ can be difficult to enjoy outside of a live performance, and its success on album relies upon the gorgeously recorded operatic voices. When they are silent, "Requiem" is surprisingly lacking in sustained spirit.



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588 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.65 Stars
***** 208 5 Stars
**** 153 4 Stars
*** 103 3 Stars
** 62 2 Stars
* 62 1 Stars
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 68:22
Part One: Requiem

• 1. Officium (3:46)
• 2. Kyrie Eleison (6:12)
• 3. Dies Irae (4:51)
• 4. Offertorium (3:19)
• 5. Sanctus (2:51)
• 6. Angus Dei (1:49)
• 7. Lux Aeterna (1:56)
• 8. Lacrimosa (3:24)
• 9. Epitaphium (3:03)
Part Two: Life

The Beginning:
• 10. Meeting (5:18)
• 11. Discovering the World (2:50)
• 12. Love (2:24)

Destiny:
• 13. Kai Kairos (9:43)

Apocalypse:
• 14. Ascende Huc (2:18)
• 15. Veni et Vidi (2:45)
• 16. Qui Erat et Qui Est (4:26)
• 17. Lacrimosa -- Day of Tears (4:03)

Postscriptum:
• 18. Prayer (3:16)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes notes from Zbigniew Preisner about the concerts. An excerpt is included below:

    "Once, we had a joint conception to create a concert telling a life story. The premiere was planned to take place on the Acropolis in Athens. It was intended to be a large event, a hybrid of a mystery play and an opera. Krzysztof Kieslowski would be the director, Krzysztof Piesiewicz was responsible for the script, and I was planning to compose the music. Once, we thought it might be the first of a series of musical performances, to be developed in various interesting places around the world in the next few years. But it was life that authored a different ending: Krzysztof Kieslowski died on 13th March 1996. The first part of Requiem for my friend is meant as a farewell to Krzysztof Kieslowski. I dedicate this music to him."
Copyright © 1999-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Requiem for my Friend are Copyright © 1999, Atlantic Records/Erato/Warner Classics and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 3/11/99 and last updated 4/15/07.
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