From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Krzysztof Eugeniusz Penderecki (23 November 1933 – 29 March 2020) was a Polish composer and conductor who worked in the 20th-century classical music tradition. Among his best known works are Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, Symphony No. 3, his St. Luke Passion, Polish Requiem, Anaklasis and Utrenja. Penderecki composed four operas, eight symphonies and other orchestral pieces, a variety of instrumental concertos, choral settings of mainly religious texts, as well as chamber and instrumental works.
Use in film
Some of Penderecki's music has been adapted for film soundtracks. The Exorcist (1973) features his String Quartet and Kanon For Orchestra and Tape; fragments of the Cello Concerto and The Devils of Loudun. Writing about The Exorcist, the film critic for The New Republic wrote "even the music is faultless, most of it by Krzysztof Penderecki, who at last is where he belongs." The Shining (1980) features six pieces of Penderecki's music: Utrenja II: Ewangelia, Utrenja II: Kanon Paschy, The Awakening of Jacob, De Natura Sonoris No. 1, De Natura Sonoris No. 2 and Polymorphia.
David Lynch has used Penderecki's music in the soundtracks of the movies Wild at Heart (1990), Inland Empire (2006), and the TV series Twin Peaks (2017). In the film Fearless (1993) by Peter Weir, the piece Polymorphia was once again used for an intense plane crash scene seen from the point of view of the passenger played by Jeff Bridges. Penderecki's piece, Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima, was also used during one of the final sequences in the film Children of Men (2006). Penderecki composed music for Andrzej Wajda's 2007 Academy Award nominated film Katyń, while Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island (2010) featured his Symphony No. 3 and Fluorescences.