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Polish Baroque


Release Date: 01/01/2008 
Label:  Ambronay   Catalog #: 010   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franciszek LiliusMarcin MielczewskiMikolaj ZielenskiStanislaw Szarzynski,   ... 
Conductor:  Graham O'Reilly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  William Byrd EnsembleEnsemble Ventosum
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The names above may be unfamiliar to you - they certainly were to me - but they are representatives of what the Poles call their golden age of music: the first half of the 17th century. The earliest composer is Miko}aj Zieletiski, who was employed at the court of the Primate of Poland. The dates of his birth and death are unknown, but a key fact is that his surviving output consists of two volumes published in Venice in 1611. Whether or not Zielejiski or his contemporaries visited the place, most of the pieces here are resolutely in the polychoral style of Giovanni Gabriel and Monteverdi. The exceptions include motets by the much later composer Stanislaw SzarzyiIski, which look to North Germany rather than Italy.

The disc
Read more opens with the atmospheric tolling of a bell, before the brass enter with the dactylic, canzona-like figure that introduces Triumphalic dies byMarcin Mielczewski (d165 1). Scored for two four-part choirs, this is a sumptuous celebration of St Stanislas, the instruments both punctuating and accompanying the choral writing. There is florid solo music too, as there is in the other Mielczewski motet, Audite et admiramini.

The disc is subtitled "Pçkiel and his Contemporaries", and the Pçkiel Mass is at the heart of the programme. The movements are linked by a harmonic head-motif that recurs, hauntingly, in the course of the Credo. Pçkiel's Audite morta/es, the first Polish oratorio, includes a beautiful unaccompanied trio for high voices.

A larger vocal group would have better withstood the weight of cornetts and sackbuts; but there is much to enjoy here, and the disc can be warmly recommended to anyone prepared to investigate such unfamiliar fare.

-- Richard Lawrence, Gramophone [6/2008]
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Works on This Recording

1. Tua Jesu dilecto by Franciszek Lilius
Conductor:  Graham O'Reilly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  William Byrd Ensemble,  Ensemble Ventosum
2. Canzona Prima à 2 by Marcin Mielczewski
Conductor:  Graham O'Reilly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  William Byrd Ensemble,  Ensemble Ventosum
Period: Baroque 
3. Audite et admiramini by Marcin Mielczewski
Conductor:  Graham O'Reilly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  William Byrd Ensemble,  Ensemble Ventosum
4. Magnificat by Mikolaj Zielenski
Conductor:  Graham O'Reilly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  William Byrd Ensemble,  Ensemble Ventosum
Period: Renaissance 
5. Ad Hymnos ad cantus by Stanislaw Szarzynski
Conductor:  Graham O'Reilly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  William Byrd Ensemble,  Ensemble Ventosum
Period: Baroque 
Written: Poland 
6. Audite morales by Bartlomiej Pekiel
Conductor:  Graham O'Reilly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  William Byrd Ensemble,  Ensemble Ventosum
7. Igneum Ignati jubar by Mikolaj Zielenski
Conductor:  Graham O'Reilly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  William Byrd Ensemble,  Ensemble Ventosum
8. Praeludium in D major, for organ by Jan Podbielski
Conductor:  Graham O'Reilly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  William Byrd Ensemble,  Ensemble Ventosum
9. Triumphalis Dies by Marcin Mielczewski
Conductor:  Graham O'Reilly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  William Byrd Ensemble,  Ensemble Ventosum
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Poland 
10. Missa Concertata "La Lombardesca" by Bartlomiej Pekiel
Conductor:  Graham O'Reilly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  William Byrd Ensemble,  Ensemble Ventosum
11. Ad Hymnos ad cantus by Stanislaw Szarzynski
Conductor:  Graham O'Reilly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  William Byrd Ensemble,  Ensemble Ventosum
Period: Baroque 
Written: Poland 

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