Karol Szymanowski ~ copyright: Lipnitzki-Viollet, Roger-Viollet
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  Karol Szymanowski The Complete Songs for voice and piano
Available at CHANNEL CLASSICS RECORDS

Karol Szymanowski ~ copyright: Lipnitzki-Viollet, Roger-ViolletOn the 1st of May 2004 Poland joined the EU. Commemorating that event, this unique box of 4 CD’s presents the complete songs by Poland's great composer Karol Szymanowski containing a real treasure of ravishing songs never recorded before.

In a co-production with the Dutch label Channel Classics Records three of the best Polish singers of our time, tenor Piotr Beczala, mezzo soprano Urszula Kryger and soprano Iwona Sobotka, joined by Juliana Gondek, American soprano of Polish descent, are accompanied by the Dutch pianist Reinild Mees.

In 2004 Reinild Mees won the Szymanowski - Award and the Medal 'Merit of Polish Culture' for her achievements in promoting the song repertoire of Karol Szymanowski. The Szymanowski CD's also won the FRYDERYK AWARD, the most prestigious music award in Poland for the best recording of Polish music in 2004 and was very highly praised in the international press.


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CCS 19398 Karol Szymanowski The Complete Songs for voice and piano
   
Volume 1
Piotr Beczala, tenor
Reinild Mees, piano
Volume 2
Juliana Gondek, soprano
Reinild Mees, piano


 
Volume 3
Urszula Kryger, mezzo soprano
Reinild Mees, piano
Volume 4
Iwona Sobotka, soprano
Reinild Mees, piano


 
Listen to excerpts from the CD's:

Volume 1 Jestem i placze (I am and I weep)
Piotr Beczala, tenor
Reinild Mees, piano
   
Volume 2 Sleep now
Juliana Gondek, soprano
Reinild Mees, piano
   
Volume 3 Z maurytanskich spiewnych sal (From Moorish singing halls)
Urszula Kryger, mezzo soprano
Reinild Mees, piano
   
Volume 4 Piesn o fali (The Song of the Wave)
Iwona Sobotka, soprano
Reinild Mees, piano

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  Szymanowski (1882-1937), as many composers of his generation, was an ‘eclectic’ composer, which meant he let himself inspire by several cultural influences to write in many different styles. Traditional romantic songs on classical Polish poems by Kazimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer and Jan Kasprowicz alternate with subtle impressionistic cycles on oriental themes ( The Songs of the Infatuated Muezzin, Songs of the Fairy-Tale Princess, The Love Songs of Hafiz), and passionate expressionistic German songs with witty nationalistic folksongs. Next to Polish poems Szymanowski used English texts by James Joyce and German texts by the great Viennese ‘Jugendstil’ poets, as well as paraphrases of Arab texts and translations of poems by the famous Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore.




 
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