Notes and Editorial Reviews
During his stay in Rome in 1903, Feliks Nowowiejski, at the height of his fame after receiving the prestigious Giacomo Meyerbeer award, set out to compose an oratorio based on the novel Quo vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz. However, he was not the first composer who thought about a musical version of this captivating story from the times of Emperor Nero. Five years before, another Polish composer Emil Mlynarski, began working on his opera Ligia, which, however, remained unfinished. Although to this day at least six opera reinterpretations of Quo Vadis have been staged, none of them came even close to the achievement of the 26-year-old Nowowiejski in terms of the scale of artistic success. The original version is presented on this release. The score, consisting of five parts, shows some influence of great tableaux evoking the style of Meyerbeer’s grand opera; it also contains Liszt-style leitmotifs, impressive quasi-Handel choral parts and a modernized neo-Bach counterpoint, which is possibly an influence of Max Reger.