"Szymanowski, the cosmopolitan wanderer and "good European," returned to a newly independent Poland on Christmas Eve 1919, followed by a change of heart and, soon after, by a radical change of style. Slopiewnie (1921), the first work in the new idiom, matched poet Julian Tuwim's brilliantly imagined proto-Slavic language with Tatra-inspired music of sophisticated primitivism. Through such works as the Mazurkas (1924-1925), the Stabat Mater (1925-1926), and -- above all -- the ballet Harnasie (1923-1931), the new style became less esoteric, if more laconic, attaining its final, most allusively polished form in the Violin Concerto No. 2. Sketched over August 1932 at the insistence of his friend, violinist Pawel Kochanski -- who provided (as he had for the Violin Concerto No. 1) the cadenza -- Szymanowski could not begin the orchestration until March, completing the full score on September 6, 1933. Weak from tuberculosis, Szymanowski was easily exhausted, and this was his last large-scale work.
If one characterizes Szymanowski's last manner as a sophisticated primitivism, it is nevertheless a curious fact that few performances embrace both aspects. In general, Polish artists respond to the folk elements with the gusto of a highland hoe-down, while Western European and American musicians play suavely to the glowing orchestral timbres familiar from Debussy and Ravel. Both are effective, but which is Szymanowski? One suspects he died undecided. The premiere was given in Warsaw on October 6, 1933, by two of the composer's closest friends, Kochanski as soloist with Grzegorz Fitelberg conducting." - AMG.
This is a 1972 Philips 1st pressing - imported from Europe.
The record is Mint.
The jacket is Mint-.
The LP plays/sounds Mint++.
Absolutely stunning sound. This LP is on the sound quality levels of some of the best Mercury Living Presence and RCA 'Shaded Dogs'. The detail levels of the Violin and Orchestra are amazing and the dynamic range is huge - from dead silence to thundering Crescendos. Instrumental tonality is precise and the instruments themselves sound 'alive' and real. An incredible sound and performance.
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