Monday, December 28, 2009

Szymanowski - Krol Roger, Symphony no.4 - Simon Rattle


Szymanowski - Krol Roger, Symphony no.4 - Simon Rattle
Opera | Eac, Ape, cue | log, cover | 2 CD, 477 MB
September 21, 1999 | EMI| RapidShare




Szymanowski was concerned with philosophical and moral questions as well as writing music, and King Roger (completed in 1926) is an opera of ideas rather than events, centering on the eternal conflict between Apollo and Dionysus, between reason and the unconscious. The action (such as it is) takes place on a single night: a mysterious shepherd appears at the court of Roger, the enlightened 12th-century King of Sicily, and leads the people and Roger's beloved wife, Roxana, in an orgiastic dance and then off to a "Land of Ecstasy"; the shepherd reveals himself as the god Dionysus, but Roger, while accepting him, turns in the end to the rising sun of Apollo.


Written in 1918, Karol Szymanowski's unique opera King Roger is a work of striking beauty and intensity. The libretto, sung in Polish, reflects the composer's interest in the Mediterranean world and in Greek mythology. In 12th-century Sicily, a mysterious shepherd speaking of a god of beauty, sensuality, and (sexual) liberation troubles the reign of King Roger. The shepherd eventually will reveal himself to be none other than Dionysus, whose temptations the king ultimately resists, offering himself instead to the sun (Apollo). To sustain this very atmospheric and mystical plot, Szymanowski created music of scintillating refinement, adorned with as lush an orchestration as we can imagine, full of oriental color and exotic perfume. The choral writing is powerful and evocative, while the main roles are characterized by sensuous melodies (as in the extraordinary "Song of Roxana", sung by Elzbieta Szmytka with ecstatic abandon).

Simon Rattle reveals a singular affinity for this hedonistic sound world: his direction underlines with uncommon liveliness the subtlety of Szymanowski's harmony and orchestral writing, without ever sacrificing its dramatic impact. The cast is impeccable (superb King Roger of Thomas Hampson, hallucinatory shepherd/Dionysus of Ryszard Minkiewicz), as is the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. As a complement to this short opera, Rattle conducts the late, neo-classical Symphony No. 4 with solo piano. Leif Ove Andsnes gives to the solo part all the precision and rhythmic drive that the piece calls for. The recording perfectly captures the spacious acoustics of Birmingham's Symphony Hall. For all lovers of Szymanowski and/or 20th-century opera, this double CD is a must.--Luca Sabbatini


CD Content

# Król Roger (King Roger), opera in 3 acts, Op. 46, M55
Composed by Karol Szymanowski
Performed by Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
with Elzbieta Szmytka, Philip Langridge, Thomas Hampson, Robert Gierlach, Jadwiga Rappe, Ryszard Minkiewicz
Conducted by Simon Rattle

# Symphony No. 4, for piano & orchestra ("Symphonie Concertante"), Op. 60, M70
Composed by Karol Szymanowski
Performed by Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Leif Ove Andsnes, piano
Conducted by Simon Rattle

1 comment:

  1. Hi, please check download link no 4 it needs to be re uploaded

    ReplyDelete

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