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Szymanowski: Symphonies Nos 3 & 4, Stabat Mater

LSO0739 SACD

Szymanowski Symphonies Nos 3 & 4, Stabat Mater

Szymanowski Symphonies Nos 3 & 4, Stabat Mater


Valery Gergiev conductor

Toby Spence
Denis Matsuev
Sally Matthews
Ekaterina Gubanova
Kostas Smoriginas

London Symphony Chorus
London Symphony Orchestra

ICMA Nomination 2014: Best Collection

La Clef du Mois ResMusica (France)

**** (max) Classica (France)

'Valery Gergiev leads the LSO and luxury-cast soloists in this irresistible album featuring Szymanowski's heady, perfumed Third Symphony and Stabat Mater' Sinfini Music

This second, star-studded instalment of Gergiev’s Szymanowski cycle features Toby Spence as soloist in the Third Symphony, ‘Song of the Night’ and internationally renowned pianist, Denis Matsuev in the virtuosic ‘Symphonie concertante’, Symphony No 4. Szymanowski’s deeply personal choral work, Stabat Mater, completes the cycle and stars Sally Matthews and Ekaterina Gubanova, and introduces the young baritone, Kostas Smoriginas to LSO Live listeners.

For decades Szymanowski’s music was rarely heard outside Poland. Today, he is recognised as one of Poland’s greatest musical figures. His desire to embody the music of his native land and his incorporation of the folkloric sounds of the Polish mountains make his orchestral works a must for anyone with an interest in Polish culture and music.

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Supported by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of
the Polska Music Programme.

Price: £7.99

 
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Reviews

ICMA Nomination 2014: Best Collection

La Clef du Mois ResMusica (France)

**** (max) Classica (France)

'Valery Gergiev leads the LSO and luxury-cast soloists in this irresistible album featuring Szymanowski's heady, perfumed Third Symphony and Stabat Mater' Sinfini Music

‘Gergiev handles his forces with an expert hand and the work’s huge climaxes are unflinchingly delivered by the recording…Toby Spence impresses with his ardent delivery of the taxing tenor part and the well-drilled LSO chorus sing with admirable commitment …The Russian virtuoso Denis Matsuev gives a typically athletic and powerful performance of the solo part while Gergiev and the LSO accompany with precision and panache … this disc is a timely reminder of Szymanowski’s position as one of the most individual composers of the 20th century and only increases one’s admiration for his unique style and sophisticated tonal palate.’ Classical CD Choice (UK)

‘The soloists leave little to be desired: Sally Matthews (her voice having latterly taken on an almost mezzo-like richness) and Ekaterina Gubanova combine most eloquently in their various duet passages, while Kostas Smoriginas exudes passion without undue histrionics. Gergiev directs with thoughtful attentiveness, and though the pauses between its six movements might have been minimized even further, the radiant transcendence of the fourth and final sections is never in doubt. It helps that the contribution of the London Symphony Chorus, audibly revitalized under Simon Halsey, galvanises this account to an extent seldom encountered outside of Polish readings, so ensuring the fusion of Renaissance and folk-inflected harmonies is not merely distinctive but blazes a trail right through to the present.’ International Record Review (UK)

‘a hothouse performance of Symphony No. 3, where the tenor Toby Spence, the London Symphony Chorus and lush-sounding LSO all combine to capture the orientalist tone.’ BBC Music Magazine (UK)

**** ‘LSO offers another in its stellar series of works by this essential composer … If you already have the equally impressive recording of the first two symphonies with Gergiev and London (also on LSO Live) this one is an essential addition.’ Audiophile Audition (US)

‘Gergiev’s orchestra and chorus are both splendid, as is Toby Spence as the tenor soloist …Matsuev excels in this music and his piano tone is crystal clear. The London Symphony play their part equally well with much orchestral detail coming through winningly.’ Music Web International  (UK)

**** ‘Along with the First Violin Concerto, it [3rd Symphony] represents the peak of the composer’s middle period, when he was heavily influenced by Debussy and Scriabin. Gergiev and the LSO revel in the rich tapestry of sound, while Toby Spence is impressively ecstatic in his high solo lines. Pierre Boulez may have coolly revealed every strand of Szymanowski’s orchestral texture, but Gergiev seems more in touch with the composer’s exotic world.’ Limelight (Australia)

Artists

Valery Gergiev conductor

Toby Spence
Denis Matsuev
Sally Matthews
Ekaterina Gubanova
Kostas Smoriginas

London Symphony Chorus
London Symphony Orchestra

Recording Details

SACD/digital LSO0739 (822231173922)

James Mallinson, producer
Neil Hutchinson for Classic Sound Ltd, balance engineer

DSD recording, live at the Barbican, December 2012 & March 2013
Stereo and multi-channel 5.1

Jewel case with 20pp booklet.
Notes in English, French and German.
Sung in Polish - text in Polish with English translation.

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