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SZYMANOWSKI Stabat Mater op. 53, Litany to the Virgin Mary Op. 59, Symphony No. 3 Op. 27 - Song of the Night. Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir / Jacek Kaspszyk. Warner Classics

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Szymanowski Stabat Mater Warsaw Po Jacek Kaspszyk Warner Classics

SZYMANOWSKI

Litany to the Virgin Mary Op. 59
for solo soprano, female choir and orchestra, to words by Jerzy Liebert
1 i. Twelve-Toned Cithara (Andante. Molto tranquillo)
2 ii. Like a Dwarf Bush (Andante)

Stabat Mater op. 53
for solo voices, mixed choir and orchestra
3 i. At the Cross Her Station Keeping (Stabat mater dolorosa)
4 ii. Is There One Who Would Not Weep (Quis est homo qui non fleret)
5 iii. O Thou Mother! Fount of Love! (O, Eia, Mater, fons amoris)
6 iv. Let Me Mingle Tears with Thee (Fac me tecum pie flere)
7 v. Virgin of All Virgins Blest! (Virgo virginum praeclara)
8 vi. Christ, When Thou Shalt Call Me Hence (Christe, cum sit hinc exire)

Symphony No. 3 Op. 27 “Song of the Night” for solo tenor, mixed choir and orchestra
to words by Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi in Tadeusz Micinski’s translation
9 i. Moderato assai
10 ii. Allegretto tranquillo
11 iii. Largo

Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir / Jacek Kaspszyk
Henryk Wojnarowski – choirmaster

Aleksandra Kurzak – soprano
Agnieszka Rehlis – mezzo-soprano
Dmitry Korchak - tenor
Artur Rucinski – baritone

The new album by the Warsaw Philharmonic features music by eminent Polish composer Karol Szymanowski. His “Litany to the Virgin Mary”, “Stabat Mater” and “Song of the Night” were written between 1914 and 1933, which is considered to have been the most fruitful period in his creative life.

“Litany to the Virgin Mary” to a poem by Jerzy Liebert (1904-1931) – a poet known for his love of lyrical verse on philosophical and religious subjects – is a piece which Szymanowski began to compose in 1930.

“Stabat Mater”, completed in 1926, was officially commissioned from Szymanowski by the Polish art collector Bronislaw Krystall to commemorate his wife’s death. The work was inspired, however, by a tragic event that affected Szymanowski’s family. Szymanowski’s “Stabat Mater” holds a special place in the history of Polish music after Chopin. It exerted a powerful impact even on eminent composers working fifty years later, wrote Marcin Gmys, PhD, professor of Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

The last work on this CD is Symphony No. 3 “Song of the Night” for solo voice, mixed choir and orchestra (1914-1916) – a whole new world of musical imagination, whose protagonist and speaker is an artist – at first unable to express his own feelings.

The performers are Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir under the baton of the Philharmonic’s artistic director, Jacek Kaspszyk, as well as outstanding soloists: Aleksandra Kurzak, Agnieszka Rehlis, Artur Rucinski, and Dmitry Korchak.

Karol Szymanowski was born on 3rd October 1882 and died on 29th March 1937 in Lausanne. In 1905 he founded the Young Polish Composers' Publishing Company, later known as “Young Poland in Music”. which under the patronage of Wladyslaw Lubomirski promoted the music of Polish contemporary composers. Between 1st September 1930 and 30th April 1932, he held the post of vice-chancellor of Warsaw’s Central School of Music. In 1930-1935 he took permanent residence in Zakopane, in Villa “Atma”. In 1933-36 he performed his own compositions in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, England, Italy, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the Soviet Union. In 1936 he stayed several times at a sanatorium in the French Grasse, and in March 1937 – in another sanatorium in Lausanne, where he died. Karol Szymanowski received numerous awards for his work. His output of compositions can be divided into three periods which mark the main stages in his approach to music. The first (1899-1913) can be described as late Romantic – the time of the artist’s maturation, of absorbing existing types of musical language and of inspirations with literary modernism. The second period (1914-1919) was characterised by individualism and the emergence of Szymanowski’s artistic identity, as well as inspiration with Oriental and ancient cultures. The third (1920-1937) was marked by a revaluation of the composer’s earlier ideas, leading to the development of a new national style based on folklore, but highly innovative in composition technique.

Jacek Kaspszyk - conductor
Ever since his success at the renowned Herbert von Karajan Competition (1977) Jacek Kaspszyk has conducted major orchestras throughout the world, including the New York and Berlin Philharmonics, the Bayerischer Rundfunk, RSO Berlin, Vienna Symphony, the Oslo, Rotterdam and Czech Philharmonics and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. With the latter orchestra he toured Australia. In the UK he has worked with all the leading London orchestras, The Hallé, Royal Liverpool, Royal Scottish, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment as well as the BBC Scottish and BBC Welsh, with whom he made his BBC Proms debut. He has also conducted orchestras in Japan, Korea, Malaysia and performed regularly in China with the Shanghai Philharmonic, Guangzhou Symphony and Beijing’s China Philharmonic.

Kaspszyk has held a number of high-profile positions in Poland’s music institutions, including Music Director of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of Wroclaw Philharmonic (now the National Forum of Music) and a highly successful tenure as Artistic and General Director of the Grand Theatre – Polish National Opera, which led to the company’s acclaimed appearances at the Beijing Festival, the Bolshoi in Moscow, Sadler’s Wells in London, Hong Kong Arts Festival and three tours of Japan. An “Opera Now” reviewer wrote in 2004: “The Grand Theatre – Polish National Opera has filled the gap between Berlin and Moscow on the map of Europe”. Kaspszyk’s operatic career has also included productions for many renowned opera houses, including Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf, Opéra Comique in Paris, Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm, English National Opera, Scottish Opera, Zurich Opera, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, and most recently Nuremberg Opera.

Since September 2013 Kaspszyk has held the post of Warsaw Philharmonic Artistic Director, opening his tenure with the orchestra’s first ever concert streamed online. His recording of Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s music with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra for Warner Classics was nominated for the “Fryderyk” Award.

Other record awards include a Platinum Disc for his recording of Moniuszko’s “Haunted Manor” (EMI), a nomination for “Record of the Year” by BBC Music Magazine granted to Szymanowski’s “King Roger” (CD Accord) and a Number 2 slot in the Classical Charts for performances in the Progetto Martha Argerich (EMI).

Jacek Kaspszyk’s extraordinary artistic achievements have brought him many accolades, most recently – the prestigious Elgar Society Medal for his interpretations of that composer’s music, the “Coryphaeus of Polish Music” award from the “Warsaw Autumn” Festival (for a concert in 2013), as well as Gazeta Wyborcza’s What’s On Supplement audience award in the category of “Man of the Year”.

Warner Classics 0190295864507

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