WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Szymanowski: Songs, Harnasie / Sobotka, Rattle


Release Date: 10/31/2006 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 64435   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Karol Szymanowski
Performer:  Iwona SobotkaTimothy RobinsonKatarina Karnéus
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony OrchestraCity of Birmingham Symphony Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
On sale! $17.99
CD:  $15.99
In Stock
MP3: $9.99
What's this?




Notes and Editorial Reviews


Despite being influenced by the likes of Richard Strauss, Debussy, Ravel, and his countryman Chopin, Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937) composed music of great beauty and unique exoticism. The two song cycles recorded here, written during World War I, are more than tinged with orientalisms, with the East filtered through French pastels. The first, Love Songs of a Fairy-Tale Princess, consists of just three songs and is only nine minutes long. The titles--"The Lonely Moon", "The Nightingale", "Dance"--give away the styles in which they're composed: each is a coloratura gem that sometimes lapses into sheer vocalise, with the texts left behind. Bird-like soprano Iwona Sobotka
Read more sings them splendidly.

Love Songs of Haviz, the other cycle, is based on translations of 14th-century Persian poetry. The late-Romantic texture, the expressive honesty, and the use of percussion--both high and low, is warm and tempting. Szymanowski wisely uses a darker, mezzo-soprano voice to express the intermingling images of nature and desire, and Katarina Karneus caresses each languourously. The lushness and decadence of a song like "Pearls of my soul" occasionally calls to mind Zemlinsky and his like.

Sandwiched between the cycles is a ballet called Harnasie, completed in 1931 and peculiarly scored for tenor, chorus, and orchestra. Inspired by the folk sounds of the Tatra Mountains, this is forwardly propulsive, rhythmically jerky, occasionally Stravinsky-like music that perfectly suits the subject of a bride being willingly abducted on her wedding night by bandits in the Carpathian Mountains. The textures are on a grander scale here--still strangely ethereal at times, but intercut with more earthbound sounds. Blocks, snare drums, and possibly a whip enter the aural landscape, and the xylophone goes wild.

All of the music recorded here is gripping and thrilling, filled with harmonic and orchestral surprises, and Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Orchestra and Chorus obviously feel passionately about it. The performances and sonics are exemplary. This out-of-the-ordinary program is vastly entertaining, very rewarding, and comfortably otherworldly.

--Robert Levine., ClassicsToday.com
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Songs (6) of a fairy-tale princess, Op. 31 by Karol Szymanowski
Performer:  Iwona Sobotka (Soprano)
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; Poland 
Date of Recording: 03/20/2006 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England 
Length: 9 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: Polish 
Notes: Arranger: Karol Szymanowski. 
2. Harnasie, Op. 55 by Karol Szymanowski
Performer:  Timothy Robinson (Tenor)
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923-1931; Poland 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England 
Length: 33 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Language: Polish 
Notes: Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England (10/23/2002 - 10/25/2002) 
3. Lovesongs (8) of Hafiz, Op. 26 by Karol Szymanowski
Performer:  Katarina Karnéus (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; Poland 
Date of Recording: 06/30/2004 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England 
Length: 21 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: Polish 

Sound Samples

Piesni ksiezniczki z basni Op 31 - Songs of a Fairy-Tale Princess Op 31: I. Samotny ksiezyc - The lonely moon
Piesni ksiezniczki z basni Op 31 - Songs of a Fairy-Tale Princess Op 31: II. The nightingale
Piesni ksiezniczki z basni Op 31 - Songs of a Fairy-Tale Princess Op 31: III. Taniec - Dance
Harnasie Op 55 - Ballet pantomime in two tableaux, Obraz I: Na hali - Tableau I: In the mountain pasture: I. Redyk: Driving the sheep
Harnasie Op 55 - Ballet pantomime in two tableaux, Obraz I: Na hali - Tableau I: In the mountain pasture: II. Scena mimiczna (zaloty) - Mimed scene (courtship)
Harnasie Op 55 - Ballet pantomime in two tableaux, Obraz I: Na hali - Tableau I: In the mountain pasture: III. Marsz zbójnicki - The tatra robbers' march
Harnasie Op 55 - Ballet pantomime in two tableaux, Obraz I: Na hali - Tableau I: In the mountain pasture: IV. Scena mimiczna (Harnas i Dziewczyna) - Mimed scene (The Harnas and the girl)
Harnasie Op 55 - Ballet pantomime in two tableaux, Obraz I: Na hali - Tableau I: In the mountain pasture: V. Taniec zbójnicki. Final - The tatra robbers' dance. Finale
Harnasie Op 55 - Ballet pantomime in two tableaux, Obraz II: W karczmie - Tableau II: In the inn: VIa. Wesele - The wedding
Harnasie Op 55 - Ballet pantomime in two tableaux, Obraz II: W karczmie - Tableau II: In the inn: VIb. Cepiny - Entry of the bride
Harnasie Op 55 - Ballet pantomime in two tableaux, Obraz II: W karczmie - Tableau II: In the inn: VIc. Piesn siuhajów - Drinking song
Harnasie Op 55 - Ballet pantomime in two tableaux, Obraz II: W karczmie - Tableau II: In the inn: VII. Taniec góralski - The tatra highlanders' dance
Harnasie Op 55 - Ballet pantomime in two tableaux, Obraz II: W karczmie - Tableau II: In the inn: VIII. Napad harnasiów. Taniec - Raid of the Harnasie. Dance
Harnasie Op 55 - Ballet pantomime in two tableaux, Obraz II: W karczmie - Tableau II: In the inn: IX. Epilog - Epilogue
Pesni milosne Hafiza Op 26 - Love songs of Hafiz: Zyczenia - Desires
Pesni milosne Hafiza Op 26 - Love songs of Hafiz: Zakochany wiatr - The infatuated East wind
Pesni milosne Hafiza Op 26 - Love songs of Hafiz: Taniec - Dance
Pesni milosne Hafiza Op 26 - Love songs of Hafiz: Serca mego perly - Pearls of my soul
Pesni milosne Hafiza Op 26 - Love songs of Hafiz: Wieczna mlodosc - Eternal youth
Pesni milosne Hafiza Op 26 - Love songs of Hafiz: Glos twój - Your voice
Pesni milosne Hafiza Op 26 - Love songs of Hafiz: Piesn pijacka - Drinking song
Pesni milosne Hafiza Op 26 - Love songs of Hafiz: Grób Hafiza - Hafiz' Grave

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook