Author Topic: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)  (Read 55410 times)

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SymphonicAddict

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #220 on: March 23, 2018, 09:07:19 AM »
I'm in agreement with your responses. Operas may be really addictive, even if you don't follow the librettos. A little disadvantage about operas is their length IMHO, but I think, perhaps, that is a matter of training your ears and get accustomed.

I definitely have to listen to more operas in a near future. Your suggestions appear interesting (Strauss, Janácek, Mussorgsky, Bartók, Vaughan Williams, etc.)

P.S.: Nice to see you again cilgwyn. Were you on vacation?  ;D

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #221 on: March 23, 2018, 03:00:31 PM »
You really do need to get into the operas of Richard Strauss,don't you,vandermolen?!! ;D
The small selection you enjoy intrigues me,though. If you like those,is it beyond the realm of possibilities,that this could increase by,say,another,one or two?! Have you ever tried Brian's wildly eccentric,The Tigers? Or,what about Martinu's The Greek Passion. I bought a s/h musicassette set of the opera,when I was a youngster (which I still possess). I remember that what I really liked about it,in the old Supraphon recording,were the sounds of Martinu's orchestration. I would put it on a level with the orchestration in his Sixth symphony. I found it quite startling. Almost hallucinatory. The textures are so vivid. They really grab.....tickle the old ear 'oles. (And his use of voices is stunning,too). Never mind the story!! Even my father,who doesn't care for music much,enjoyed the sounds he was hearing! At the time,it was like no other opera,I had heard. And I don't usually like operas with unhappy endings!! ::) ;D

Erm,back to Szymanowski!! :-[ ;D
I'm sure I'd like 'The Greek Passion' and regret missing the chance to see 'Julietta' when I had the chance to decades ago.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #222 on: March 23, 2018, 03:02:23 PM »
I'm in agreement with your responses. Operas may be really addictive, even if you don't follow the librettos. A little disadvantage about operas is their length IMHO, but I think, perhaps, that is a matter of training your ears and get accustomed.

I definitely have to listen to more operas in a near future. Your suggestions appear interesting (Strauss, Janácek, Mussorgsky, Bartók, Vaughan Williams, etc.)

P.S.: Nice to see you again cilgwyn. Were you on vacation?  ;D

Try Vaughan Williams's 'Riders to the Sea' Caesar. It is very short for an opera and very moving in my view. cilgwyn had computer problems.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Biffo

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #223 on: March 24, 2018, 01:30:56 AM »
I'm in agreement with your responses. Operas may be really addictive, even if you don't follow the librettos. A little disadvantage about operas is their length IMHO, but I think, perhaps, that is a matter of training your ears and get accustomed.

I definitely have to listen to more operas in a near future. Your suggestions appear interesting (Strauss, Janácek, Mussorgsky, Bartók, Vaughan Williams, etc.)

P.S.: Nice to see you again cilgwyn. Were you on vacation?  ;D

Most of Janacek's operas are reasonably short. My first one wash Katya Kabanova, probably a good one to start with. I can second vandermolen's recommendation of RVW' s Riders to the Sea but beware it is very bleak.

cilgwyn

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #224 on: March 24, 2018, 03:47:22 AM »
I'm sure I'd like 'The Greek Passion' and regret missing the chance to see 'Julietta' when I had the chance to decades ago.
I think you would like some of that opera. If you ever do;I would recommend the old Supraphon recording with Mackerras and the WNO. It's in English,too. A an absolutely terrific performance,imho! I must get the cd set when I've got enough spare dosh. I've got the cassette tape set. I am able to play it,though,fortunately! Yes,I think it is an opera that might appeal to those who normally dislike operatic warbling,of the canary school! Puccini's La Boheme,which I'm listening to now,NO! ;D (I'm not really into Puccini;I'm just an Anna Moffo fan!)

cilgwyn

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #225 on: March 24, 2018, 03:51:46 AM »
Try Vaughan Williams's 'Riders to the Sea' Caesar. It is very short for an opera and very moving in my view. cilgwyn had computer problems.
It's the grimness of the storyline that has always put me off. I'm recommending The Greek Passion,but I should,really,hear Riders to the Sea. I will start looking out for a s/h copy. But not just yet. I don't want to frighten the postman,too much!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #226 on: March 24, 2018, 04:49:02 AM »
I think you would like some of that opera. If you ever do;I would recommend the old Supraphon recording with Mackerras and the WNO. It's in English,too. A an absolutely terrific performance,imho! I must get the cd set when I've got enough spare dosh. I've got the cassette tape set. I am able to play it,though,fortunately! Yes,I think it is an opera that might appeal to those who normally dislike operatic warbling,of the canary school! Puccini's La Boheme,which I'm listening to now,NO! ;D (I'm not really into Puccini;I'm just an Anna Moffo fan!)
Apparently audio-cassettes are coming back into fashion. Mackerras was one of my favourite conductors, Suk's 'Asrael', Walton's First Symphony, Martinu etc. Will look out for The Greek Passion. Thanks for the recommendation.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

cilgwyn

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #227 on: March 24, 2018, 05:47:26 AM »
I hope so. I quite like them;and unlike Lp's,you can record on them. Although,I'm sure there was some gadget that recorded on a kind of single,made out of thin plastic;that you sometimes came up on? I'm sure you put money into a slot,and you  could sing into it,or something? But maybe I imagined it?!! (There was a floppy sort of record that sometimes came in magazines?)
Anyway ::) ;D................One thing I remember about The Greek Passion was that the orchestral textures were so startling. Almost hallucinatory. Like the ones in the Sixth symphony. They really grabbed the old ear 'oles. I 'd be listening for them,waiting for these outburst from the orchestra. To my young ears,like the sounds in the symphonies,they seemed quite extraordinary. His use of the voice,too,in places. I seem to remember some of the choral passages are fantastic. If you have heard some of his choral music,you will know what I am referring to. And it's in English,of course! Yes,I think it's quite possible you might like this one. Even my father,who doesn't care much for music,was warm towards this one. Although,of course,the involvement of the WNO probably helped!! ;D

And,erm...............back to Szymanowski!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #228 on: March 24, 2018, 05:55:14 AM »
I hope so. I quite like them;and unlike Lp's,you can record on them. Although,I'm sure there was some gadget that recorded on a kind of single,made out of thin plastic;that you sometimes came up on? I'm sure you put money into a slot,and you  could sing into it,or something? But maybe I imagined it?!! (There was a floppy sort of record that sometimes came in magazines?)
Anyway ::) ;D................One thing I remember about The Greek Passion was that the orchestral textures were so startling. Almost hallucinatory. Like the ones in the Sixth symphony. They really grabbed the old ear 'oles. I 'd be listening for them,waiting for these outburst from the orchestra. To my young ears,like the sounds in the symphonies,they seemed quite extraordinary. His use of the voice,too,in places. I seem to remember some of the choral passages are fantastic. If you have heard some of his choral music,you will know what I am referring to. And it's in English,of course! Yes,I think it's quite possible you might like this one. Even my father,who doesn't care much for music,was warm towards this one. Although,of course,the involvement of the WNO probably helped!! ;D

And,erm...............back to Szymanowski!

Well, the recent Supraphon CD of 'The Epic of Gilgamesh' was sensational so I will definitely get The Greek Passion. Yes, back to Szymanowski
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #229 on: March 24, 2018, 07:48:32 AM »
Szymanowski’s Litania do Najświętszej Marii Panny (Litany to the Virgin Mary) may very well be my favorite work from him. It’s a short work as it was left unfinished and only two movements were completed. The vocal writing is just beyond this world and the accompanying music is haunting. I’d love to hear a chamber ensemble reduction of this work just to be able to hear every strand of texture.

A little background to the work here:

http://culture.pl/en/work/litany-to-the-virgin-mary-op-59-karol-szymanowski
« Last Edit: March 24, 2018, 07:52:39 AM by Mirror Image »
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #230 on: March 24, 2018, 07:55:28 AM »
Szymanowski’s Litania do Najświętszej Marii Panny (Litany to the Virgin Mary) may very well be my favorite work from him. It’s a short work as it was left unfinished and only two movements were completed. The vocal writing is just beyond this world and the accompanying music is haunting. I’d love to hear a chamber ensemble reduction of this work just to be able to hear every strand of texture.

A little background to the work here:

http://culture.pl/en/work/litany-to-the-virgin-mary-op-59-karol-szymanowski
Also one of my favourite works by Syzmanowski.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #231 on: March 24, 2018, 12:20:19 PM »
Try Vaughan Williams's 'Riders to the Sea' Caesar. It is very short for an opera and very moving in my view. cilgwyn had computer problems.

It seems alluring. Thanks for the recommendation!

Too bad to hear that about cilgwyn. Fortunately he came back.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2018, 12:24:26 PM by SymphonicAddict »

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #232 on: March 24, 2018, 12:21:54 PM »
Szymanowski’s Litania do Najświętszej Marii Panny (Litany to the Virgin Mary) may very well be my favorite work from him. It’s a short work as it was left unfinished and only two movements were completed. The vocal writing is just beyond this world and the accompanying music is haunting. I’d love to hear a chamber ensemble reduction of this work just to be able to hear every strand of texture.

A little background to the work here:

http://culture.pl/en/work/litany-to-the-virgin-mary-op-59-karol-szymanowski

Count me as another admirer of this gorgeous work. His choral writing was awe-inspiring indeed.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #233 on: March 24, 2018, 06:48:01 PM »
Count me as another admirer of this gorgeous work. His choral writing was awe-inspiring indeed.

Also one of my favourite works by Syzmanowski.

Indeed, guys. 8) It’s hard not to be seduced by his magical way with writing for voices.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #236 on: March 29, 2018, 05:50:05 AM »
I haven’t heard that disc, Jens, but have you heard the Ibragimova/Tiberghien disc of these works on Hyperion? Such a great disc.



I suspect it might/would be; I mention as much in my review (which actually covers two releases, but not the Hyperion), as the post scriptum.  ;)

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #237 on: March 29, 2018, 05:51:54 AM »
I suspect it might/would be; I mention as much in my review, which really covers two different releases, as the post scriptum.  ;)

Ah, very good. Sorry, Jens, I posted before I even read the article. :-[
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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #238 on: August 15, 2019, 02:05:16 PM »
I've been getting into Szymanowski a bit lately after having picked up a Naxos CD with his symphonies 3 and 4 a few months ago, and listening intermittently. Now I've just gotten another Naxos CD with the 1st and 2nd violin concertos (soloist Ilya Kaler, who is phenomenal, backed by Antoni Wit conducting the Warsaw Philharmonic). This is very, very good stuff. I really love this overripe, lush, late/post-Romantic music, and Szymanowski is up there with the best of them. So rich and dense, yet so melodic, and very harmonically and texturally colorful. His piano music is interesting too, but I have yet to really immerse myself in it. I have a Naxos CD played by Martin Roscoe, who is pretty good.

Finally, I really want to spend more time with his opera King Roger (his only opera...?) which can also be had cheaply thanks to Naxos. That label is really doing great things for our classical music culture...

Anyway, is Karol Szymanowski one of a handful of truly great Polish composers? Are there more than a handful? I have been on a mission to discover the great Polish composers and he is one of them in my eyes, alongside Chopin, Lutoslawski, Penderecki, and possibly Górecki (haven't heard enough of his music to decide, but he did write at least one absolutely phenomenal piece: the famous 3rd symphony, a stroke of genius). I think he brought Polish music into the 20th century.

So has anyone listening to any Szymanowski lately? The thread has been dead for over a year now.

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
« Reply #239 on: August 15, 2019, 03:27:04 PM »
The 2 violin concertos are out of this world, really splendid indeed. Once I attended a concert featuring the 1st Violin Concerto, needless to say I was blown away by it. I'm a fan of this distinctive composer. The 2 string quartets belong to his best works IMO. It's also worth exploring the Stabat Mater, Litany to the Virgin Mary, and Harnasie. I'm not very fond of his piano music, they lack spark.