Author Topic: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)  (Read 53453 times)

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Offline edward

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2007, 06:11:19 PM »
Thanks for that: I enjoyed the performance, but then again Tetzlaff is one of my favourite violinists.
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
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Offline Maciek

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2007, 03:30:51 PM »
A friend of mine asked if the King Roger libretto was available anywhere on-line, so I figured I'd post the link over here too, in case others have a similar need.

The Polish original:
http://www.trubadur.pl/Indeks/bib/Roger.html

An English translation (haven't read it, so can't vouch for the quality):
http://duszenko.northern.edu/szymanowski/index.html

Offline beclemund

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2007, 05:40:49 PM »
I just had my first exposure to Szymanowski last week in this recording:



I will have to explore more, so thanks for that thread starting post, Maciek--some great information in that.
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Offline Maciek

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2007, 10:16:23 AM »
Karol Szymanowski
Symphony No. 4 "Concertante" for piano and orchestra op. 60 (1932)
A mon ami Arthur Rubinstein

performers:
Bogdan Czapiewski, piano
Belgian Radio SO
Alfred Walter, conductor
live recording from, I think, 1985

http://www.mediafire.com/?fzdzsjmryyx

Offline Brewski

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2007, 08:24:32 AM »
Just got word of a very interesting Szymanowski concert on October 13 here in New York, with the following program:

Hanna Lachert, violin
Edyta Kulczak, mezzo-soprano
Anna Kijanowska, piano
Penderecki String Quartet

Violin Sonata in D minor, Op. 9
Kurpian Songs
Three Davidow Songs
Mazurkas (for piano, selection TBA)
String Quartet #1
String Quartet #2

More information on the Kosciuskzo Foundation's website, here.

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Offline Maciek

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2007, 08:37:29 AM »
Thanks for the link. I like the photo of Szymanowski they used (a fairly popular one in print but somehow I haven't seen it on the internet lately)...

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2007, 08:40:22 AM »
Ah! what can I add? Only praise! he's one of those composers that makes me weak and then...I want to start composing and singing myself.....It is in the quality of the melodies, the wonderful harmonies....invention, mystery!

Dutch Opera ( De Nederlandse opera/Amsterdam)did a very weak ( visually) Krol Roger in 2000. Good singing & excellent orchestra (THe Residentie Orchestra :The Hague/ Hartmut Haenchen). Silly staging & sets , flat characters ( Johannes Schaaf director)....James Johnson as Roger and Brigitte Hahn as Roxana.

The Stabat Mater worked very well in Antwerp's restaured cathedral - all Belgian/Antwerp artists - great performance in a luminous surounding!

Peter

Offline Maciek

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2007, 08:43:34 AM »
The Stabat Mater worked very well in Antwerp's restaured cathedral - all Belgian/Antwerp artists - great performance in a luminous surounding!

Sounds like a great musical and visual experience! :D 8)

Offline Brewski

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2007, 08:47:41 AM »
That Stabat Mater does sound great in that setting!  Now if only the Met would consider mounting a production of Krol Roger...maybe in the Peter Gelb era there is hope.  8)

--Bruce
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Offline Maciek

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2007, 02:51:19 AM »
Great news for Szymanowski fans! King Roger on DVD coming out this Saturday!

Offline Maciek

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #30 on: October 10, 2007, 03:20:49 AM »
From this concert:
10th Music Festival of the Polish Radio "Szymanowski's Near and Distant Worlds"
Final concert: "Around Dionysus" (October 7th 2007)
Witold Lutosławski Concert Hall in Warsaw

Karol Szymanowski - Demeter op. 37bis
Jadwiga Rappé, alto
Polish Radio Choir
Polish Radio Orchestra
Lukasz Borowicz, conductor
http://www.mediafire.com/?3i029m2z2yh

Offline Maciek

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #31 on: October 13, 2007, 02:15:20 PM »
More from the same concert:

Karol Szymanowski - Pentezilea op. 18 - words by Stanisław Wyspiański (from his play Achilleis)
Izabella Kłosińska soprano
Polish Radio Orchestra
Łukasz Borowicz conductor
http://www.mediafire.com/?0gl1kynh32n

This piece was performed twice during the concert: it was the first item of the program but then it was repeated again at the end as an encore. This here is that second performance (the first didn't record properly).

Offline Maciek

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #32 on: October 13, 2007, 02:35:42 PM »
I've saved the best for last. Last item from that concert (or two items, actually): the world premiere of Szymanowski's Agawe. This, together with Demeter, was supposed to form a cantata diptych for alto. But Szymanowski completed only the second part, that is Demeter. He did however leave very detailed sketches for Agawe. OK, in fact he left a draft of the score with only a few "holes" in it. This is actually written for soprano (he wrote down alto, and then crossed it out).

Until this concert no one ever attempted to perform the piece. Now it has been given two performances - in two different reconstructions/orchestrations. The first version was done by the Polish composer Piotr Moss (a commission from the festival). Only when the program of the whole festival was already prepared did it come to the organizers' attention that the British musicologist Malcolm Hill had recently completed a version of his own. So that was included into the program too. Both versions were performed during the concert side by side (interspersed by Demeter).

Enough of the introduction, here are the recordings:

Karol Szymanowski (orchestration/reconstruction by Piotr Moss) Agawe op. 38 cantata for soprano, female choir and orchestra, text by Zofia Szymanowska
Izabella Kłosińska soprano
Polish Radio Choir (altos and sopranos)
Polish Radio Orchestra
Łukasz Borowicz conductor
http://www.mediafire.com/?6adymcj4cnn

Karol Szymanowski (orchestration/reconstruction by Malcolm Hill) Agawe op. 38 cantata for soprano, female choir and orchestra, text by Zofia Szymanowska
Izabella Kłosińska soprano
Polish Radio Choir (altos and sopranos)
Polish Radio Orchestra
Łukasz Borowicz conductor
http://www.mediafire.com/?d71jelzamh6

Offline Maciek

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #33 on: October 13, 2007, 02:41:48 PM »
And to round off your Szymanowski cantata collection (if you have one - well, now you do ;D), here's something from another recent concert (October 12th 2007, the PRNSO's 2007/08 season inaugural concert held at the St. Peter and Paul's Church in Katowice):

Karol Szymanowski - Litany to the Virgin Mary op. 59 for soprano, female choir and orchestra
Iwona Hossa soprano
Polish Radio Choir in Cracow
Silesian Philharmonic Choir
Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra
Krzysztof Penderecki conductor

1st Movement - http://www.mediafire.com/?51bksq2ljc5
2nd Movement - http://www.mediafire.com/?b2dkbp3citt

Offline Maciek

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #34 on: December 15, 2007, 11:27:59 AM »
Don't know how managed to miss this. Hagith seems to have come out on DVD a couple of months ago (or maybe more recently - but not more than a couple of months... 0:)). Anyone heard this?



DUX 5898A19294

Hagith WIOLETTA CHODOWICZ
Stary Król / Old King TARAS IVANIV
Młody Król / Young King ADAM ZDUNIKOWSKI
Arcykapłan / High Priest WIKTOR GORELIKOW
Lekarz / Medic MACIEJ KRZYSZTYNIAK

Orchestra and chorus of the Wrocław Opera
Conductor TOMASZ SZREDER

Producers

Musical direction TOMASZ SZREDER
Stage direction MICHAŁ ZNANIECKI
Set designs RYSZARD KAJA
Chorus master MAŁGORZATA ORAWSKA
Lights BOGUMIŁ PALEWICZ

Offline Maciek

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #35 on: January 04, 2008, 09:03:02 AM »
Great news for Szymanowski fans! King Roger on DVD coming out this Saturday!

Ha ha ha! January 2008 and it still hasn't come out!

BUT today I glimpsed this image in one of the internet stores. Apparently the cover is ready - hopefully soon the whole thing will be available:

Though, to be frank, that cover somehow doesn't stimulate the sort of anxiety I would have wished for... ::) But then I'm not exactly a fan of Mariusz Treliński's (the stage director's) work. It immediately reminds me of a recent review from a theatre festival where the reviewer complained that modern theatre consists primarily of mass-produced, thoughtless, avantgarde-looking pulp which in reality has absolutely nothing to do with avantgarde since it is essentially a lot stale, recycled ideas put together in a more or less automatic way... :-\

Offline BachQ

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #36 on: January 04, 2008, 11:58:51 AM »
I wish we had a thread dedicated to Szymanowski's operas ........ perhaps a 3-in-1 thread ........

Offline Maciek

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #37 on: January 04, 2008, 12:09:50 PM »
Oh, but who would be so brave as to start such a thread? Or who would be mad enough? No, no, you wish in vain! For it is clearly impossible that such a thread could ever exist!

Offline Sydney Grew

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Re: Szymanowski's novel "Ephebos"
« Reply #38 on: January 05, 2008, 01:19:39 AM »
What a fine group of photographs there in the first message of Mr. Maciek! We have not previously seen several of them and have saved them to our hard drive for easy reference.

Szymanowski was not only a first-rater among European composers - many Members have already helped to tell us why - but he was also one of the most prominent among the European homo-sexualists of his day. Indeed his First Violin Concerto is one of the first - and still one of the best - examples of music inspired by and expressing the spirit of that movement.

But to-day we wish to discuss not so much his music as his homo-sexualistic novel, completed in 1919, at a time when he felt unable to compose. It bore the title "Efebos," which is usually translated into English as "The Ephebe," but it may possibly mean "The Ephebic" or even "Ephebeity" if we may be permitted to coin that word.

According to Grove, the subject of the novel is "erotic love, and especially a love which is independent of all norms of public opinion." Grove adds that "the ephebe, as Teresa Chylinska observed, with a sensual mouth, long curls, falling on both sides of his delicate and beautiful young face, was the prototype for the Shepherd in the great opera King Roger."

Well! All that leads us to wonder where this interesting novel is now. All Grove deigns to tell us is that "only fragments survive." So let us investigate elsewhere.

The admirable Norman Lebrecht tells us more. The novel, he says, was "in two volumes." It told of a "prince who is seduced at school and emerges into gay Parisian society. It took Szymanowski two years to write, and he left it to a cousin to publish after his mother's death. It perished in the German invasion of Warsaw."

Yet that seems by no means to be the whole story. If we turn to volume one of the superb compilation "Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History - from Antiquity to World War II," and in particular to the article on Szymanowski written therein by Graeme Skinner, we read that "The novel Efebos recalled Szymanowski's own visits to Italy in the travels and homosexual romances of his central character, Prince Ali Lowicki. Never published, the novel was thought to have been lost during World War II. However, an account of the plot was published by Szymanowski's cousin and collaborator on King Roger and the Songs of the Infatuated Muezzin, the poet Jaroslav Iwaszkiewicz, in 1947, and a fragment was published by Teresz Chylinska in 1981." (She must be the same lady whom Grove mentions in passing.) C. Palmer in 1983 reported a further hundred and fifty pages discovered in Paris "in Russian translation."

A hundred and fifty pages is indeed a considerable chunk - half the size of an average novel. We wondered whether this had ever been translated into English, and so as a last resort we turned to the Wiki business on the Internet. There we find that Szymanowski thought the matter of his novel "very important and very beautiful." Indeed we are already aware of that. But again a fact new to us pops up - a German translation of "one chapter" was published in 1993 under the title "Das Gastmahl" (the Symposium). We also read that it was Szymanowski himself who presented those hundred and fifty pages to his young friend Boris Kochno, in whose estate they were discovered in 1981. Their central argument, we are told, is the perennial one of the relationship between the Apollonian and the Dionysian, with which King Roger too is concerned.

So what is really going on? This renowned novel, completed in 1919, which we have never read, seems still somehow to be a work in progress. We long to discover more! Where, for instance, is that "Russian translation" now? Every newly-recovered page must must it not throw considerable new light on the great man's music.
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Offline Sydney Grew

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #39 on: January 05, 2008, 02:22:24 AM »
From this concert:
10th Music Festival of the Polish Radio "Szymanowski's Near and Distant Worlds"
Final concert: "Around Dionysus" (October 7th 2007)
Witold Lutosławski Concert Hall in Warsaw

Karol Szymanowski - Demeter op. 37bis
Jadwiga Rappé, alto
Polish Radio Choir
Polish Radio Orchestra
Lukasz Borowicz, conductor
http://www.mediafire.com/?3i029m2z2yh

Thank you Mr. Maciek, but I cannot access the file. It says that my "user identity is invalid"! What am I doing wrong, and how is it supposed to work? (I always use the Opera browser by the way.)
Rule 1: assiduously address the what not the whom! Rule 2: shun bad language! Rule 3: do not deviate! Rule 4: be as pleasant as you can!