The new album by the Warsaw Philharmonic features music by eminent Polish composer Karol Szymanowski. His Litany to the Virgin Mary, Stabat Mater and Song of the Night were written between 1914 and 1933, which is considered to have been the most fruitful period in his creative life.
Litany to the Virgin Mary to a poem by Jerzy Liebert (1904-1931) – a poet known for his love of lyrical verse on philosophical and religious subjects – is a piece which Szymanowski began to compose in 1930.
Stabat Mater, completed in 1926, was officially commissioned from Szymanowski by the Polish art collector Bronisław Krystall to commemorate his wife’s death. The work was inspired, however, by a tragic event that affected Szymanowski’s family. Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater holds a special place in the history of Polish music after Chopin. It exerted a powerful impact even on eminent composers working fifty years later, wrote Marcin Gmys, PhD, professor of Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
The last work on this CD is Symphony No. 3 Song of the Night for solo voice, mixed choir and orchestra (1914-1916) – a whole new world of musical imagination, whose protagonist and speaker is an artist – at first unable to express his own feelings.
The performers are Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir under the baton of the Philharmonic’s artistic director, Jacek Kaspszyk, as well as outstanding soloists: Aleksandra Kurzak, Agnieszka Rehlis, Artur Ruciński, and Dmitry Korchak.