Mieczyslaw Karlowicz: Smutna opowiesc, "Preludia do wiecznosci" (A Sorrowful Tale, "Preludes to Eternity"), Op. 13
A Sorrowful Tale, Op. 13, "Preludes to Eternity"
Mieczyslaw Karlowicz: Episode at a Masquerade, Op. 14 (completed by G. Fitelberg)
Allegro maestoso - Molto agitato - A tempo - Andante
Allegro maestoso - Molto agitato - Molto largamente
“It would be hard to imagine more effective treatment of this highly scented repertoire”
“Magnificent accounts of Karlowicz's evocative tone poems by Noseda”
“Mieczysław Karłowicz (1876-1909)…produced some of the finest orchestral works by a Polish composer of the early 20th century. All three performances on this very well recorded CD are magnificent. In fact, it would be hard to imagine more effective treatment of this highly scented repertoire.”
“With this third disc the BBC Philharmonic complete a fine survey of Karpowicz's orchestral music. Now we can finally enjoy this music in all its rich, velvet-draped luxury. This instalment is, admittedly, something of a mopping-up exercise, the best of Karpowicz's output being found on the first of the BBC Philharmonic's discs (see above). The Nietzschean pessimism of Returning Waves and A Sorrowful Tale relates strongly to the Richard Strauss of Tod und Verklärung pretensions, albeit without the transfiguration. Here the music sounds as though it has overdosed on Wagner and turned to César Franck for the antidote, compounding rather than solving its problems in finding an individual voice. In Episode at a Masquerade – completed by Grzegorz Fitelberg following the composer's tragically early death in a skiing accident – there are attractive, though passing and presumably coincidental, affinities with the Elgar of Cockaigne. Here, too, the overall atmosphere is far removed from the frivolity that the title (and indeed the opening pages of the score) might suggest. The BBC Philharmonic's dynamic principal conductor, Gianandrea Noseda, took the reins from Yan Pascal Tortelier after their first Karpowicz disc. He has a sure instinct for the music's indulgent textures and melodramatic effusiveness, and orchestral playing and recording are both of the highest class. Self-recommending, then, to explorers of late-Romantic byways.”
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