Another proof of the composer’s fascination with Eastern Orthodox music and rite.
Penderecki began work on this piece as a gift for the 60th birthday of his friend, eminent cellist-conductor Mstislav Rostropovich. The Song sets the text of the Hymn to the Holy Trinity, which in the Eastern Orthodox liturgy accompanies the opening of the royal doors leading to the altar. This piece for unaccompanied choir has three stages, composed so as to represent the participation of the faithful, the priests, and angels. It proceeds from quiet monody to an ecstatic polyphony. This small-scale piece may be considered as a postscript to the monumental bipartite Utrenya (1969-1971).