Author Topic: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)  (Read 54925 times)

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Offline kyjo

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #240 on: August 15, 2019, 03:59:55 PM »
Szymanowski is an excellent composer in my book. Much of his music has both the intoxicating lushness of Scriabin and the edgy folk rhythms of Bartok (though, of course, he has a hugely individual voice). His 3rd and 4th symphonies (the latter is my favorite work of his), both violin concerti, Stabat mater, Litany to the Virgin Mary, and Love Songs of Hafiz are all top-notch works. I’m reminded that I need to check out Harnasie and Król Roger...
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #241 on: August 16, 2019, 01:42:15 AM »
String quartets, noted. I have heard nothing of them and shall have to check them out. I don't agree that his piano works lack spark, but I am thus far less fond of them than I am the orchestral music.

Offline Todd

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #242 on: August 29, 2020, 10:16:42 AM »



It is an incontrovertible, empirical fact that the world does not have enough recordings of the piano music of Karol Szymanowski. (That applies to all of Szymanowski's music, really.)  Polish label Dux does its part to rectify this shortage by releasing more titles of the composer's music than pretty much any other label.  Indeed, 2018 saw the label release two recordings of the Op 1 Preludes.  I happened to pick up this recording by Radosław Sobczak, one of those two recordings.  No need to beat around the bush, Sobczak is among the best Szymanowski interpreters on disc, right up their with Piotr Anderszewski, Rafał Blechacz, and Sinae Lee.  In the Preludes he fully explores the composer's harmonic invention and dazzles the listener.  The E Flat Minor not only displays that, but it also shows Sobczak to have a finely honed touch as he very finely grades his dynamics, often playing two or three different levels at once with immaculate control.  The Second Sonata receives a superb performance, one where that harmonic daring marries to grand scale to most compelling effect.  Indeed, with Blechacz's take on the First, and Anderszewski's take on the Third, there is now a proper, reference grade recording of each of the three sonatas.  (This is not to take anything away from the exceptionally fine Ms Lee, to be clear.)  The two Mazurkas and one Etude make for an extended encore that really deliver.  Dux delivers SOTA sound, as per usual.  An outstanding disc in every way.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2020, 10:18:55 AM by Todd »
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Offline Maestro267

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #243 on: August 30, 2020, 05:16:40 AM »
It's kind of baffling how there is not a single recording that collects together all 4 symphonies. I've seen 2-4 together in a set, and Rattle's 4-fer includes just 3 & 4.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #244 on: August 30, 2020, 11:44:59 AM »
Is there a more Strauss-but-not-by-Strauss piece than Szymanowksi's Concert Overture!?  I listened to it the other day as part of the excellent Capriccio/Modern Times disc;



A really well constructed programme that goes from Szymanowksi at his most heroic, via the sinfonia Concertante to the swooning songs and entertaining tarantella.....

Offline kyjo

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #245 on: September 01, 2020, 08:55:43 AM »
Is there a more Strauss-but-not-by-Strauss piece than Szymanowksi's Concert Overture!?  I listened to it the other day as part of the excellent Capriccio/Modern Times disc;



A really well constructed programme that goes from Szymanowksi at his most heroic, via the sinfonia Concertante to the swooning songs and entertaining tarantella.....

To answer your question, I don’t think so! :D It almost embarrassingly cribs Don Juan in places, but that doesn’t stop it from being great fun!
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #246 on: September 01, 2020, 11:05:00 AM »
Not to say his first two symphonies: lush and voluptuous in a Straussian way.
«Music is liquid architecture; architecture is frozen music.»

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #247 on: September 04, 2020, 11:27:11 PM »
Not to say his first two symphonies: lush and voluptuous in a Straussian way.

the trouble with a phrase like that is it makes me imagine Strauss in a dress........! (clearly I have deeper issues than I have previously addressed)  :)

Offline Scion7

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #248 on: September 06, 2020, 10:04:42 AM »
the trouble with a phrase like that is it makes me imagine Strauss in a dress........!

Well, considering how hen-pecked the man was, in a way, Frau Strauss was the 'other' part of Richard - the manager, the task-master, the accountant. So him in a dress is relevant ... sort of ...   ???
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #249 on: October 16, 2020, 06:12:04 PM »
Recordings of the Preludes I like. Dariescu plays the Preludes of Shostakovich as well as Sz. The performance of Sz presents relaxed and languorous feel. Atmospheric music. I don’t know about the Sh Preludes, so no opinion about them. Vaysse-Knitter plays a mixture of piano works including the Preludes and Variations. The music is picturesque while it maintains some pleasant coolness and enigma. Very sophisticated performance. I am not a fan of the Sinae Lee set.