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Szymanowski: Symphonies No 3 & 4, Violin Concertos / Rattle


Release Date: 04/01/2008 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 14576   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Karol Szymanowski
Performer:  Peter ThomasJon GarrisonLeif Ove AndsnesThomas Zehetmair,   ... 
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony OrchestraCity of Birmingham Symphony ChorusCity of Birmingham Symphony Youth Chorus
Number of Discs: 4 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 4 Hours 40 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


This set comprises the best work that Simon Rattle has given us. The performers largely match or exceed the finest of what has come out of Poland in recent decades in this marvelous music, and if the chorus in the Stabat Mater and Litany doesn't have quite the amplitude of the best Eastern European groups, it still sings very well. More to the point: Thomas Zehetmair easily rises to the challenge of such predecessors as Kaja Danczowska in the violin concertos; Leif Ove Andsnes remains unsurpassed in the Sinfonia Concertante (Symphony No. 4); and this is hands down the finest version of King Roger ever recorded. Here and in the two song cycles the first-rate cast of international and Polish singers
Read more (including Philip Langridge, Thomas Hampson, and Iwona Sobotka) does the music proud. Harnasie is also terrific, its folk-music inspiration vigorously projected by Rattle and his team.

The orchestra sounds completely comfortable with Szymanowski's richly colored and ripely harmonized idiom, and as for Rattle, in this complex and largely unfamiliar music he seems gratifyingly concerned with serving the composer rather than drawing attention to himself through the gratuitous imposition of "ideas" that may or may not suit the music at hand. Excellent engineering and a booklet with full texts and translations instantly establish this as the set to own, whether you know Szymanowski well or are looking to get acquainted.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Symphony no 3, Op. 27 "Song of the Night" by Karol Szymanowski
Performer:  Peter Thomas (Violin), Jon Garrison (Tenor)
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1916; Poland 
Length: 24 Minutes 1 Secs. 
2. Symphony no 4, Op. 60 "Symphonie concertante" by Karol Szymanowski
Performer:  Leif Ove Andsnes (Piano)
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932; Poland 
3. Concerto for Violin no 1, Op. 35 by Karol Szymanowski
Performer:  Thomas Zehetmair (Violin)
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916; Poland 
4. Concerto for Violin no 2, Op. 61 by Karol Szymanowski
Performer:  Thomas Zehetmair (Violin)
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1933; Poland 
5. King Roger, Op. 46 by Karol Szymanowski
Performer:  Philip Langridge (Tenor), Thomas Hampson (Baritone), Robert Gierlach (Baritone),
Lisa Milne (Soprano), Jadwiga Rappé (Alto), Elzbieta Szmytka (Soprano),
Ryszard Minkiewicz (Tenor), Andrew Burden (Tenor)
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus,  City of Birmingham Symphony Youth Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918-1924; Poland 
Length: 80 Minutes 21 Secs. 
6. 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 
7. Stabat mater, Op. 53 by Karol Szymanowski
Performer:  Elzbieta Szmytka (Soprano), Florence Quivar (Mezzo Soprano), John Connell (Bass)
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925-1926; Poland 
Length: 22 Minutes 38 Secs. 
8. 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 
9. 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 
10. Litany to the Virgin Mary, Op. 59 by Karol Szymanowski
Performer:  Elzbieta Szmytka (Soprano)
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930-1933; Poland 
Length: 8 Minutes 2 Secs. 

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
Violin Concerto No. 1 Op. 35: Vivace assai - Tempo comodo: andantino - Subito vivace assai -
Violin Concerto No. 1 Op. 35: Vivace scherzando (Fig. 52) - Tempo comodo: allegretto - Vivace -
Violin Concerto No. 1 Op. 35: Cadenza (Vivace) - Allegro moderato - Lento assai
Violin Concerto No. 2 Op. 61: Moderato - Andante sostenuto - Tempo I - Cadenza -
Violin Concerto No. 2 Op. 61: Allegramente, molto energico (Fig. 26) -
Violin Concerto No. 2 Op. 61: Andantino molto tranquillo (Fig. 40) -Tempo I (Allegramente, animato)
Symphony No.4 (Sinfonia Concertante), Op.60: Moderato, Tempo comodo
Symphony No.4 (Sinfonia Concertante), Op.60: Andante molto sostenuto
Symphony No.4 (Sinfonia Concertante), Op.60: Allegro non troppo, ma agitato ad ansioso

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