The majestic fourth movement of this symphony can be heard in Scorsese’s movie.
This five-movement symphony took a particularly long time to compose. Despite this, and the internal diversity of expression notwithstanding, the cycle is highly coherent with respect to the music material used. The 4th movement is based on the model of a passacaglia, that is, a Baroque form built on a repeated bass line (like the Ciaccona, which Penderecki incorporated into A Polish Requiem). The dramatic character of this piece was enhanced by the introduction of brass instruments, increased sound volume, and a broadening of registers. Two decades after its composition, the piece was used in a masterful manner by Martin Scorsese in his thriller Shutter Island.