Classical The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. Sun, 23 Jun 2024 04:14:14 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Karlowicz - Rebirth Symphony- Bianca da Molena (2011) Karlowicz - Rebirth Symphony- Bianca da Molena (2011)

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Symphony in E Minor, Op. 7, "Odrodzenie" (Rebirth)
1.   		I. Andante - Allegro 00:18:41
2.   		II. Andante non troppo 00:11:54
3.   		III. Vivace - Molto meno mosso - Tempo I 00:05:44
4.   		IV. Allegro maestoso - Allegro ben moderato 00:10:31
Bianca da Molena, Op. 6
5.   		Prologue - 00:10:57
6.   		Intermezzo (Scenenmusik) 00:04:25

Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Antoni Wit – conductor


Best known today for his sumptuously Romantic symphonic poems , Mieczysław Karłowicz completed his most ambitious work, the ‘Rebirth’ Symphony, in 1903. Like Mahler’s ‘Resurrection’ Symphony, premièred eight years earlier , it evokes the soul’s spiritual struggle against fate from tragedy to triumph. The resplendent Prologue from Karłowicz’s music for the play The White Dove leads to a serene Intermezzo. Polish conductor Antoni Wit brings out the brooding, portentous and lyrical characteristics of his compatriot’s richly orchestrated yet seldom-heard scores.


Of the tragic composer deaths on record, the cake for most unusual may be taken by that of Mieczyslaw Karlowicz, who was caught in an avalanche while on a ski trip in the Tatra Mountains. He was of the increasingly often performed Polish generation that came of age in the late 19th century, and he wrote several symphonic poems that were, like Richard Strauss' Also sprach Zarathustra, influenced by the writings of Nietzsche. Strauss was but one influence on his music; the two works here take Tchaikovsky as a model, and it was partly these multiple derivations that caused Karlowicz to fall into obscurity after World War I. Yet he doesn't ape his models, and he's worth another listen. The youthful Serenade, Op. 2, marries an attractive concision to a sort of fin de siècle nervousness that emerges over the course of the piece, as if the opening march can't quite put its confidence across. Sample the tripartite Waltz movement (track 3). The Violin Concerto in A major, Op. 8, carries less of Karlowicz's distinctive personality but is an entirely assured handling of the idiom of Tchaikovsky's concerto, with some lovely melodies, all contained in a slightly smaller framework ideal for presenters or players who might want to offer a concerto as an opener. Russian-born violinist Ilya Kaler is equal to its considerable technical demands, and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra under Antoni Wit adds to its strong series of performances on the Naxos label. These works are not as distinctive as the others by Karlowicz that have lately appeared, but they're certainly of interest to Polish music lovers. ---James Manheim,


Karłowicz is a true late-romantic with his orchestral works adopting a big Wagnerian sound. In the case of the present disc, the resonantly active acoustic of BBC Studio 7 in Manchester complements and enhances the Straussian luxury of the music. I say Strauss ... in fact there are also strong resonances of Elgar (Froissart, In the South). Listen to Bianca da Molena (in fact the Symphonic Prologue from Music for the White Dove) written in 1900. This is regal-tragic music sumptuously thundered out and ending in both tired repletion (Strauss's Don Juan) and glowing radiance. --- Rob Barnett,

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]]> (bluesever) Karlowicz Mieczyslaw Sat, 31 Dec 2016 15:28:02 +0000
Karlowicz, Szymanowski - Violin Concertos (Plawner) [2005] Karłowicz, Szymanowski - Violin Concertos (Plawner) [2005]

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Mieczysław Karłowicz - Violin Concerto in A major Op. 8
1	I. Allegro moderato 	13:29			
2	II. Romanza. Andante 	8:59			
3	III. Finale. Vivace assai 	7:06	

Karol Szymanowski - Violin Concerto No. 1 Op. 35
4	I Koncert skrzypcowy op. 35 Violin Concerto No. 1 Op. 35

Piotr Pławner (violin)
Zielona Góra Philharmonic Orchestra
Czesław Grabowski – conductor


I dare say there is at least one name most music lovers will have encountered in the heading for this disc: the name of Szymanowski. Karłowicz, though not a negligible figure, has not made a name for himself on a level with that of his compatriot. This is a pity, because although his idiom is comparatively conservative, his writing possesses a lively awareness of melody. His songs are particularly well regarded in Poland, as is this concerto, his only output in the genre.

Cast in three movements the concerto weaves a path of “vigour and inventiveness”, as the useful liner notes put it throughout the lengthy thirteen-minute first movement. Virtuoso technique is called for, particularly in the first movement cadenza, but it the composer’s rich sense of melody that is the major concern. Indeed, if one knows the works of composers such as Wieniawski, then in Karłowicz it is possible to detect the link between his oeuvre and that of Szymanowski’s more individual style. The second movement, which follows almost unbroken from the first, is a soft and soulful Romanza – and here the soloist must appear as both the poet and his beloved wrapped into one. The finale contrasts the atmosphere nicely, with a perky classical rondo.

Soloist. Orchestra and conductor are all new to my hearing. In recent years we have grown used to a rich stream of musical talent from Eastern Europe becoming better known in the West. The Poles, along with the Czechs, have beaten the path that musicians of other countries are steadily following. This is a state of affairs I can only applaud when the playing on offer on this recording is as assured and gutsy as the Karłowicz concerto shows it to be. Pior Pławner’s playing is polished, but not overly so. There are a few moments towards the end of the third movement when he sounds in danger of veering slightly from true pitch. There is no indication on the packaging that this is a live recording, and the orchestral ensemble is too ‘together’ to indicate a live performance in progress but in building to the work’s climax Pławner gives the feeling that it might be helps to heighten the excitement. All this after he has dashed of a fearsomely intricate first movement without worry and beguiled with the beauty of his tone in the second. He is recorded forward of the orchestra, though not so far forward as to sound in a separate acoustic. The orchestra acquit themselves favourably throughout, bringing dashes of individual colour to specific lines – the winds make a valuable contribution in this way. Czesław Grabowski leads it all with compelling conviction.

Szymanowski’s Violin concerto no.1 has been the subject of many recordings in recent years. To all intents and purposes a single movement work, it was written very much with the assistance of violinist Paweł Kochański, who himself scored the single cadenza. Szymanowski was clear about its place – along with Mythes – in establishing his personal style.

Whilst the soloist naturally plays an important role, it is the orchestra and conductor who establish with their brief tutti passages and accompanying sections the framework that the soloist works within. Czesław Grabowski and the orchestra take a marginally more spacious view of the work than is sometimes encountered: Kaja Danczowska and Warsaw National Philharmonic under Kazimierz Kord on CD Accord ACD 026-2 (see review) come in a bit faster than the present version. Individual flexibilities of chosen tempi are small, and each version is persuasive in its own way. Overall though I prefer the extra punch that the CD Accord version has. But should one compare the present recording to Jennifer Koh and the Grant Park Orchestra under Carlos Kalmar (Cedille CDR 90000 089), then Pławner and Grabowski are much to be favoured – Kalmar gives his orchestra too much room to relax into, after which they cannot be pulled into shape with sufficient speed.

I like the clear voicing that the Zielona Góra Philharmonic gives to line and texture within their playing. It leaves both bodies of sound stated and subtle shadings hinted at. Pławner takes the high wire act of Szymanowki’s solo line very much in his stride, but for me his reading does not quite evince the emotional qualities contained in Kaja Danczowska’s recording. Her recording remains my first choice for the concerto.

A recommendable disc for the pair of violin concertos presented; they are played with spirit and adventure. ---Evan Dickerson,

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]]> (bluesever) Karlowicz Mieczyslaw Sat, 15 Feb 2014 16:55:41 +0000
Karłowicz - Violin Concerto (2012) [Bartek Niziol] Bartek Nizioł - Karłowicz - Violin Concerto (2012)

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Violin Concerto in A major, Op. 8

I Allegro moderato (00:00)
II Romanza. Andante (13:48)
III Finale. Vivace assai (22:22)

Bartłomiej Nizioł - violin
Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Łukasz Borowicz - conductor

Date of recording : 29.01.2012
Place of recording : Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of Polish Radio


Bartłomiej "Bartek" Nizioł, born on the 1st of February 1974 in Szczecin (Poland), is a Polish violinist playing in a bel canto style.

Nizioł started to learn to play the violin at the age of five. His first teachers were Stanisław Ślusarek and Stanisław Hajzer. In 1986 Nizioł entered at the conservatory for gifted children in Poznań to learn in the class of Jadwiga Kaliszewska. In 1993 he graduated with honour from the Academy of Music in Poznań to continue his study in Lausanne under Pierre Amoyal. Besides his regular studies, he took part in several master classes working with such musicians as Zakhar Bron, Mauricio Fuchs, Ruggiero Ricci and Michael Frischenschlager.

Bartłomiej Nizioł won top prizes at many violin competitions. From 1997 to 2003 Nizioł was concertmaster of Tonhalle Orchester Zurich. Since 2003 Nizioł has been concertmaster of the Zurich Opera. Nizioł is the founder of the Niziol Quartet (2000) and the Valentin Berlinsky Quartet (2009) the name of which is a tribute to Valentin Berlinsky (the Borodin Quartet's cellist who died in 2008). From 2007 to 2010 Nizioł also performed with the Stradivari Quartet.

Since autumn 2008 Nizioł has been named the professor in Hochschule der Künste Bern (the University of the Arts Berne) in Switzerland.

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]]> (bluesever) Karlowicz Mieczyslaw Fri, 24 Jul 2015 20:58:27 +0000
Mieczyslaw Karlowicz - Symphonic Poems (2008) Mieczyslaw Karlowicz - Symphonic Poems (2008)

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01. Karlowicz - Stanislaw and Anna Oswiecimowie, op.12 [0:22:55.02]
02. Karlowicz - Lithuanian Rhapsody, op.11 [0:19:35.10]
03. Karlowicz - Episode at a Masquerade, op.14 [0:28:08.63]

Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra Antoni Wit – conductor


While Polish composer Karol Szymanowski lived long enough to go through several style periods, his contemporary Mieczyslaw Karlowicz died in an avalanche in 1909 and thus had his development arrested in the mid fin de siècle. This disc, the first volume in Naxos' edition of Karlowicz's symphonic poems, is dedicated to the third, fourth, and sixth of his works in that form in brilliantly colorful performances by the Warsaw Philharmonic under the direction of Antoni Wit. For those fans of the fin de siècle who have not heard any of Karlowicz's music before, imagine Strauss' heroic themes touched with the sensuality of Scriabin and the melancholy of Tchaikovsky and draped in gaudy orchestrations. Wit treats the scores with all due respect and enthusiasm, and his control of line and form keeps their episodic developments in check. The Warsaw musicians respond to the music with barely concealed excitement, leaning hard into solos and moving as one in tuttis. Naxos' 2006 digital recordings are a little cool, but still clear and vibrant. Anyone interested in reaching deeper into the European fin de siècle composer will be gratified by this disc. --- James Leonard, Rovi

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]]> (bluesever) Karlowicz Mieczyslaw Fri, 23 Oct 2009 12:21:02 +0000
Mieczyslaw Karlowicz - Symphonic Poems Vol.2 (2008) Mieczyslaw Karlowicz - Symphonic Poems Vol.2 (2008)

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Powracajace fale (Returning Waves), Op. 9

1. Powracajace fale (Returning Waves), Op. 9 00:24:12
2. Smutna opowiesc, "Preludia do wiecznosci" (A Sorrowful Tale, "Preludes to Eternity"), Op. 13 00:11:00

Odwieczne piesni (Eternal Songs), Op. 10

3. I. Piesn o wiekuistej tesknocie (Song of Eternal Longing) 00:10:51
4. II. Piesn o milosci i o smierci (Song of Love and Death) 00:11:37
5. III. Piesn o wszechbycie (Song of Eternity) play

New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Antoni Wit – Conductor


All but unknown when Stanislaw Wislocki first recorded his music in 1965, shadowy composer Mieczyslaw Karlowicz has emerged as the major voice in Polish orchestral music before Karol Szymanowski on the basis of only about a dozen works. Naxos' Symphonic Poems 2, featuring the New Zealand Symphony under conductor Antoni Wit, combines three of the best orchestral pieces Karlowicz produced, the symphonic poems Returning Waves (1904), A Sorrowful Tale (1908), and Eternal Songs (1906), the last-named being a multi-movement composition more like a short symphony that has become among his most popular creations. These recordings are not recycled from Marco Polo; they were recorded in 2006 for the main Naxos label, and the disc also includes a prompt for a free bonus download track. The sound quality is terrific, and so are the performances. The strings at the end of "Song of Love and Death" (the second movement of Eternal Songs) seems to shimmer upward into the stratosphere and vanish at the movement's conclusion.

Karlowicz was neither a latter-day standard-bearer of romantic tradition like his idol, Richard Strauss, or a wild-eyed visionary of the future like Alexander Scriabin; his music rather falls in between these poles with more of an orientation toward Strauss, but on Karlowicz's own stylistic terms. His ability with orchestration was phenomenal. Whole movements build patiently and continuously toward climax points and Karlowicz pursues a constant sense of forward evolution, rather than an episodic succession of sections. Had he not perished in an avalanche at age 32 while hiking in the Tatras in 1909, perhaps Karlowicz' musical legacy would have gained attention somewhat sooner than a full century afterward. Nevertheless, for those who despair that they have reached the end of worthwhile romantic tradition once they've traversed the output of mainstream composers like Mahler and Bruckner, Karlowicz will provide a pleasant and engaging surprise. Likewise, this disc provides a cost-effective and utterly worthy medium through which to sample Karlowicz' music.

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]]> (bluesever) Karlowicz Mieczyslaw Thu, 30 Dec 2010 20:02:05 +0000
Mieczyslaw Karlowicz – Violin Concerto A-Dur – Nigel Kennedy (2007) Mieczyslaw Karlowicz – Violin Concerto A-Dur – Nigel Kennedy (2007)

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1. Allegro moderato
2. Romanza – Andante
3. Finale – Vivace assai

Nigel Kennedy – violin
Pomorska Philharmonic Bydgoszcz
Jacek Kaspszyk - conductor


The Violin Concerto in A major, Op. 8, carries less of Karlowicz's distinctive personality but is an entirely assured handling of the idiom of Tchaikovsky's concerto, with some lovely melodies, all contained in a slightly smaller framework ideal for presenters or players who might want to offer a concerto as an opener. ---James Manheim, Rovi

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]]> (bluesever) Karlowicz Mieczyslaw Fri, 01 Jan 2010 11:39:12 +0000
Mieczyslaw Karlowicz – Violin Concerto, Symphony ‘Rebirth’ (2009) Mieczyslaw Karlowicz – Violin Concerto, Symphony ‘Rebirth’ (2009)

Part I
01 - Biała Gołąbka (Bianca da Molena) overture

Violin Concerto in A major, op. 8
02 - I. Allegro moderato
03 - II. Romanza. Andante
04 - III. Finale. Vivo

J.S. Bach
05 - Gavotte en Rondeau from Partita in E major, BWV 1006

Part II
Symphony in e minor, op. 7 "Rebirth"
01 - I. Andante. Allegro
02 - II. Andante non troppo
03 - III. Vivace
04 - IV. Allegro maestoso

The National Philharmonic Orchestra
Antoni Wit - conductor
Ilya Kaler - violin

Live broadcast, Polish Radio Program 2, National Philharmonic Hall in Warsaw,
Poland, 6 February 2009


Chandos Records Ltd. continues its survey of Mieczyslaw Karlowicz in Volume II of his works. As I mentioned in my review of the first volume, interests in his art came into a more fuller fruition only recently. Even due this month is an Hyperion disc featuring his violin concerto, very much adored in Poland yet virtually unknown elsewhere. That Hyperion CD (which also includes Moszkowski's Concerto) should help change that as the Chandos series is already doing so. Hopefully other orchestras would pick up the re-discovery phase of Karlowicz' highly individualistic art.

Although the Symphony is placed third on this disc, it is something I would love to tackle on first. It's quite a wonderful piece, with echoes of Tchaikovsky, Grieg, and some Wagner yes, but then again, quite idiosyncratic in its melodic invention. Written in 1903, its source of inspiration was, at least according to some sources though not mentioned in Wightman's booklet essay, Nietzche. It's called "Rebirth" Symphony (otherwise known as "Revival" or "Renaissance" Symphony), and the `darkness to light' scheme shows some kinship to Tchaikovsky's Fifth. But, as I've stated, despite the aforementioned echoes, it is quite a wonderful piece. It's dramatic underpinning in the first movement is countered by a very graceful secondary subject that recurs throughout. This subject evokes Grieg with a sense of longing and sentimentality. The movement is conflicting in a compelling way. But the ternary second movement to me shows Karlowicz as among the best he could do. It is a beautiful movement, yet at 4'55", majestic and dignified too. But who would've thought how illuminating that Wagnerian climax towards the end would wind up being? Quite riveting! And the scherzo is lively enough, with some Tchaikovskian lyricism in the middle, but the finale is quite something else. It is vivid and the Hymn is triumphant and perhaps a tad pompous. It's an excellent idea to include excerpts from Karlowicz programme notes regarding his Symphony in the booklet.

The other works here are quite likable in their own terms. The Serenade for Strings (1897) is a delightful piece, quite easygoing in its expressionism. The March is finely written while the Romance is attractively subtle and poetic, even though the slow movement of the Symphony is much more compelling and memorable. But I warm to the Waltz, which elegant and not at all flabby, and the Finale, which somehow puts to mind Lehar (more specifically his Merry Widow) with the writing not as exotic, but with the playful rusticity that in part made Lehar well loved and admired. The Bianca da Molena (prologue from the incidental music from Nowinski's "Music for the White Dove") is resplendent, with a glaring opening and heroic passages throughout. The prologue reminds me a good deal of Novak's overture to Jaroslav Vrchlicky's play "Lady Godiva", though with Novak's greater imagination, a more evocative orchestration and tone painting.

In any event, an important disc, especially since no other versions of the works are widely available. The BBC Philharmonic continues to be an excellent ensemble and it is quite amazing how well versed this orchestra is, with such an assurance in their playing of even the rarest of repertoires (as with a number of British orchestras nowadays, like the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra or the Royal Liverpool). However, one, at times, may wish for a slightly greater sonority and affection in some of their playing, which brings to mind the Symphony. My acquaintance with the work was first made thanks to a Polskie Nagrania LP recording of Wodiczko and the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra. That recording, despite its limitations, continues to hold a special place in my collective memory. There were small cuts made in that performance, unfortunately. But the abundance of warmth is evident in the Polish orchestra, with Wodiczko showing every bit of flair and admiration of the piece. And his phrasings and structural hold are immaculate (listen, if you can, how he springs up the finale with such sparkle and exuberance while adding greater weight and majesty on the Hymn). If only Wodiczko would've kept himself from tampering with the score, while affording himself a far better, first class recording, would this recording be the benchmark. But, as is, it is not, which brings us to Noseda's delivery. His a very poetic affair, with some very dramatic undercurrents in indeed bring to mind Tchiakovsky. And I admire the warmth and elegance he brings forth in the Andante non troppo movement. The finale is more dignified and noble in Noseda, and yet it's Wodiczko who's more outgoing and lively. But to Noseda's huge advantage, the score is presented in full, which greatly enhances its appreciation and gives us a more multi-dimenstional look into Poland's emerging and promising talent by the turn of the 20th Century. --- David Anthony Hollingsworth,

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]]> (bluesever) Karlowicz Mieczyslaw Fri, 23 Oct 2009 12:12:41 +0000