Chagall, Picasso, or Dalí?
Penderecki’s Dies irae has frequently been compared to Picasso’s Guernica because of the anti-war message of both works of art. The composer himself wondered whether as an artist he was closer to Marc Chagall, who in fact painted one and the same picture throughout his life, or to Pablo Picasso, who expressed himself in different styles. Though unsurprisingly he chose the latter, he personally met the former.
Penderecki’s meeting with another painter, Salvador Dalí, at his home in Barcelona, where a stuffed bear scared the composer’s son Łukasz, became anecdotal. Journalist and satirist Marian Eile later arranged, in the manner of a happening, a ‘return visit’ of the Spanish artist to Cracow.