Mieczyslaw Karlowicz: Stanislaw i Anna Oswiecimowie (Stanislaw and Anna Oswiecim), Op. 12
Stanislaw and Anna of Oswiecim, Op. 12
Mieczyslaw Karlowicz: Lithuanian Rhapsody, Op. 11
Lithuanian Rhapsody, Op. 11
“What a fine composer Mieczyspaw Karpowicz might have become, had he not died at the age of 32 in an avalanche in the Tatra mountains. He had already produced a clutch of symphonic poems in a post- Wagnerian style, strongly pantheistic in outlook and, in the case of Stanispaw and Anna ofOs´wiecim, with a dash of illicit love thrown in. These luxuriant works set him broadly beside such near-contemporaries as Rachmaninov, Zemlinsky or Suk, and there are even signs in the 'Song of Eternal Being' (third and last of the Eternal Songs) of an individuality that might one day have become as powerful as Janácek's. This is, for the most part, sultrily ecstatic music, that hangs fragrantly or ominously in the air and seems to be constantly about to break through to some visionary realm. Even the relatively jaunty Lithuanian Rhapsody eventually turns wistful in a rather moving way. If you've a taste for lush late-Romanticism but haven't yet encountered Karpowicz, you've a treat in store, not least because these are fine performances. His music has never been more than fleetingly represented in the catalogue. Back in 1990 there was a two-disc Chant du Monde compilation of the symphonic poems from the Silesian Philharmonic; but their courageous efforts are easily outclassed by the BBC Philharmonic and Yan Pascal Tortelier, as is the recording by Chandos's customary rich sound-stage.”
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