Composed in 1910, at a time when Szymanowski was influenced by Richard Strauss, Reger and Scriabin, the unusually structured Symphony No. 2 is a work of great power and invention, with many passionate and varied contrasts in its use of solo instruments, in particular the violin.
Szymanowski’s Symphony No. 3 ‘Song of the Night’, in which orchestra, tenor and choir are subtly blended in a continuous web of intoxicating sound, is a ravishing setting of a Polish translation of a poem by the great medieval Persian mystic known as Mevlânâ, our Master, Jalal ad-Din, which evokes the mysteries and beauty of a starlit Persian night.
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)
Karol Szymanowski: Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19
I. Allegro moderato - Grazioso
II. Theme: Lento
II. Variation 1: L'istesso tempo
II. Variation 2: L'istesso tempo
II. Variation 3: Scherzando. Molto vivace
II. Variation 4: Tempo di gavotte
II. Variation 5: Tempo di minuetto
II. Variation 6: Vivace e capriccioso
Karol Szymanowski: Symphony No. 3, Op. 27, "Piesn o nocy" (The Song of the Night)
I. Moderato assai
II. Allegretto tranquillo
“Antoni Wit conducts his Warsaw forces in exceptionally warm and idiomatic performances of these two exotic symphonies, vividly recorded. They make an important addition to the Naxos catalogue….an outstanding issue.”
“Szymanowski's Symphony No. 2 shows him beginning to approach his first maturity as a composer… In Symphony No. 3, composed five years later, the mature Szymanowski has arrived. Again, this is very fine performance with all the big structural gestures well judged and the wealth of orchestral detail lovingly etched.”
“deliriously sensual scores”
“Antoni Wit conducts his Warsaw forces in exceptionally warm and idiomatic performances of these two exotic symphonies, vividly recorded. They make an important addition to the Naxos catalogue. The more immediately attractive is No 3, subtitled Song of the Night, with its tenor solo and chorus adding to its impact. The poem which the tenor sings has the refrain 'Do not sleep friend' and builds to the most powerful climax with Szymanowski's love of exotic orchestral colours exploited to the full. The thrust and passion of Wit's performance, splendidly supported by the clear-voiced tenor and the chorus, is impossible to resist, and leads to a second movement with hints of birdsong followed by a slow finale, a deep meditation. The performance of No 2 in two movements, an opening Allegro followed by an extended set of variations, is equally persuasive. Again the first movement is passionate and thrustful and the variations bring some fascinating contrasts, ending with a powerful fugue. Antoni Wit's performance could not be more idiomatic, with singers and players totally inside the music. An outstanding issue.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.