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Lukaszewski: Via crucis / Layton, Polyphony, Britten Sinfonia, et al

Album Summary

>Lukaszewski, Pawel : Via Crucis, for soloists, chorus & orchestra
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Stephen Layton's first disc of Lukaszewski choral works was widely praised by listeners entranced by the composer's unique yet accessible musical language. For this new release, Layton is joined by Polyphony, the Britten Sinfonia and a team of world-class soloists to take on a major work, which is destined to become a modern classic in the vein of Taverner's The Veil of the Temple or Part's St John Passion. Via Crucis is a dramatization of the Stations of the Cross, a musical reading of this most solemn journey that evolves through its 55-minutes in an arc of culminatory ritual power.

'Lukaszewski's reputation is growing rapidly, and rightly so ... Here, Christ's victory over death enables Lukaszewski to end on a triumphant coda that carries a primal power recalling Orff's Carmina Burana and Penderecki's St Luke Passion ... All the performers evince an emotional commitment to the content as well as to accurate technical realisation of the music. The purity of sound achieved by Polyphony's sopranos and countertenor Iestyn Davies is notable, so too is Roger Allam's sonorous narration' (BBC Music Magazine)

'A composer with a profound understanding of the technical and emotional range of the human voice ... The shining writing for the countertenor Evangelist (performed by the outstanding Iestyn Davies) ... and the Resurrectional blaze of the final 'Christus vincit'. This string of moments, by turns bright and oppressively dark, dramatic and reflective, receives a performance of the very deepest conviction by Polyphony and the Britten Sinfonia under Stephen Layton, and the recorded sound is wonderful' (Gramophone)

'This eminently accessible oratorio, whose impact is unquestionable ... The piece is delivered with passionate, almost frightening intensity. From Polyphony under Stephen Layton's inspired direction one expects no less: luminously clear textures ... His three vocal soloists are admirable too: the countertenor Iestyn Davies as the Evangelist in particular finding in his contributions a beautiful combination of sweetness and compassion' (International Record Review)

'From the arresting opening eruption, reminiscent of the famous 'O fortuna' from Carl Orff's "Carmina burana", it is instantly clear that this is a passionate performance of a powerful work. Through its ensuing myriad contrasts, the peerless skill and unwavering dedication of Polyphony, the Britten Sinfonia, soloists and conductor Stephen Layton result in a compelling performance of Pawel Lukaszewski's moving oratorio ... It is impossible to envisage a better performance. Strongly recommended' (ClassicalSource.com)


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Works Details

>Lukaszewski, Pawel : Via Crucis, for soloists, chorus & orchestra
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Ensemble: Polyphony
  • Notes: West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge, England (03/29/2008/03/30/2008)
  • Period Time: Contemporary