Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Karol Szymanowski - Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4 (Antoni Wit)


Composer: Karol Szymanowski
  • (01) Concerto Overture, Op. 12
  • (01-02) Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 15
  • (04-06) Symphony No. 4 'Symphonie Concertante', Op. 60
  • (07) Study in B flat minor, Op. 4, No. 3 (orch. Grzegorz Fitelberg)

Jan Krzysztof Broja, piano (4-6)
Ewa Marczyk, violin solo (2-6)
Marek Marczyk, viola solo (2-6)
Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra
Antoni Wit, conductor

Date: 2009
Label: Naxos



An impressive addition to the Naxos survey of symphonic Szymanowski

Naxos here completes its second recorded cycle of Szymanowski’s orchestral works. And that apparent duplication seems less remarkable once you hear the passionate playing and exceptional musical understanding of the Warsaw Philharmonic under their general and artistic director. The early Concert Overture, son of Rosenkavalier and proud of it, is resplendently played here, only at rare moments craving a more glamorous sound stage. And the over-heated two-movement First Symphony, which the composer himself described as a “contrapuntal-harmonic-orchestral monstrosity” and withdrew after its premiere, emerges as far more purposeful and less rebarbative than I can remember from any of the admittedly few rival versions that have come and gone over the years.

As a listening experience the Fourth Symphony is initially somewhat more problematic, in that the opening pages (surely the model for Bartók’s Third Piano Concerto) suffer from slight intonation problems between the concertante piano and the orchestra. But with a bit of acclimatisation, helped by the firm and affectionate shaping of the performance, this proves to be liveable with. Jan Krzysztof Broda seems to grow in stature through the rhapsodic slow movement, and he never loses the thread in the finale’s Ravelian and Prokofievian deviations.

All in all, it would take significantly greater financial outlay to find anything better than this, and even then the differences would be marginal.

-- David Fanning, Gramophone

More reviews:
BBC Music Magazine  PERFORMANCE: ***** / SOUND: *****


Karol Szymanowski (6 October 1882 – 29 March 1937) was a Polish composer and pianist, the most celebrated Polish composer of the early 20th century. His career divided in 3 periods. The early works show the influence of the late Romantic German school as well as the early works of Alexander Scriabin. Later, he developed an impressionistic and partially atonal style. His third period was influenced by the folk music of the Polish Górale people. He is considered a member of the late 19th-/early 20th-century modernist movement Young Poland and widely viewed as one of the greatest Polish composers.


Antoni Wit (born February 7, 1944 in Kraków) is a Polish conductor. He studied conducting under Henryk Czyż and composition under Krzysztof Penderecki at the Kraków's Academy of Music. Wit went on to study in Paris under Nadia Boulanger. He has recorded over 90 albums, most of them for the Naxos label, and many of them with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, of which he managed and was artistic director from 1983 to 2000. Since year 2002 he has been music director of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra. Wit specializes in the works of Polish composers such as Henryk Gorecki, Witold Lutosławski, Karol Szymanowski and Krzysztof Penderecki.


FLAC, tracks
Links in comment


  1. Copy Adfly (adf.ly/XXXXXX) or LinkShrink (linkshrink.net/XXXXXX) to your browser's address bar, wait 5 seconds, then click on 'Skip [This] Ad' (or 'Continue') (yellow button, top right).
    If Adfly or LinkShrink ask you to download anything, IGNORE them, only download from file hosting site (mega.nz).
    If you encounter 'Bandwidth Limit Exceeded' problem, try to create a free account on MEGA.


  2. Hey, Ronald! Do you have any of these recordings?



    Thanks for the great sharing, especially Tortelier's Dutilleux! : )


    1. Very sorry but I don't do request. I also don't have any of these discs.

  3. Your inputs are amazing as always! Many thanks for sharing such a gorgeous music, for this one and the others!