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


Release Date: 04/01/2008 
Label:  Warner 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. 

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