The Alfred Schnittke Collected Works Edition is a joint project of Compo-zitor • Saint Petersburg and the Alfred Schnittke Archive at Goldsmiths College, University of London. In this critical edition, each score has been checked against Schnittke’s manuscripts and existing publications of his music аnd has been edited by leading performers who collaborated with the composer.
Penitential Verses were first performed in Moscow on 26 December 1988 by the State USSR Ministry Culture Chamber Choir under Valery Polyansky, and first recorded by the Swedish Radio Choir under Tõnu Kaljuste on ECM New Series 1583 in 1996.
A page from the autograph of the Penitential Verses
1. Adam sat weeping at the gates of Paradise
2. O wilderness, gather me into your silent and gentle lap
3. That is why I live in poverty
4. My soul, why are you in a state of sin?
5. O Man, doomed and wretched!
6. When they beheld the ship that suddenly came
7. Oh my soul, why are you not afraid?
8. If you wish to overcome unending sorrow
9. I have reflected on my life as a monk
10. Christian people, gather together
11. I entered this life of tears a naked infant
12. [Wordless humming]