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Szymanowski: Symphonies No 2 And 3 / Wit, Et Al


Release Date: 03/25/2008 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570721   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Karol Szymanowski
Performer:  Ryszard Minkiewicz
Conductor:  Antoni Wit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Warsaw Philharmonic OrchestraWarsaw Philharmonic Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



The composer's love of exotic colours is exploited to the full by 'home' forces

As he reveals in an interview in this issue, Antoni Wit is one of the world’s best-selling conductors, and yet he is very far from the celebrity of an Abbado or a Haitink. Less charismatic than either of those, perhaps, but as he shows here once again he has a exceptional talent for inhabiting a composer’s sound world. These are performances of great affection and, typically for Wit, sound totally idiomatic.

-- Gramophone [5/2008]

Antoni Wit almost always can be relied on to deliver very thoughtful, beautifully musical, even inspired results, and
Read more there's no question that he conducts these works extremely well. The performances of both symphonies have a confidence and warmth about them that bespeaks a thorough understanding of Szymanowski's richly textured idiom. The Song of the Night (a.k.a. Symphony No. 3) has many of the same qualities that made Wit's Mahler Eighth so special: terrific choral singing, a bigness of conception that never precludes physical excitement, and very natural balances between vocal and instrumental forces.

The Straussian Second Symphony is a much tougher work conceptually, and here it seems to me that Wit could have asked for a sharper rhythmic edge to the string playing in the first movement, and perhaps a bit more contrast between the variations of the finale. The large acoustic that so benefits the Third Symphony also blunts the edge of this purely instrumental piece, but the fact is that a good deal of the problem lies with the work itself--its not quite resolved conflict between structure and musical idiom--and Wit's performance remains as fine as any currently available. Certainly this very enjoyable (and very inexpensive) disc should satisfy any fan of this splendid but still underrated composer.

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

1. Symphony no 2 in B major, Op. 19 by Karol Szymanowski
Conductor:  Antoni Wit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909-1910; Warsaw, Poland 
2. Symphony no 3, Op. 27 "Song of the Night" by Karol Szymanowski
Performer:  Ryszard Minkiewicz (Tenor)
Conductor:  Antoni Wit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Warsaw Philharmonic Chorus,  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1916; Poland 

Featured Sound Samples

Symphony no 2: II. Variation 5: Tempo di minuetto

Sound Samples

Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19: I. Allegro moderato - Grazioso
Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19: II. Theme: Lento -
Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19: II. Variation 1: L'istesso tempo -
Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19: II. Variation 2: L'istesso tempo -
Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19: II. Variation 3: Scherzando. Molto vivace -
Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19: II. Variation 4: Tempo di gavotte -
Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19: II. Variation 5: Tempo di minuetto -
Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19: II. Variation 6: Vivace e capriccioso -
Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19: II. Fuga
Symphony No. 3, Op. 27, "Piesn o nocy" (The Song of the Night): I. Moderato assai
Symphony No. 3, Op. 27, "Piesn o nocy" (The Song of the Night): II. Allegretto tranquillo
Symphony No. 3, Op. 27, "Piesn o nocy" (The Song of the Night): III. Largo

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