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Song of the Night: Szymanowski: Violin Concerto no 1; Symphony no 3 / Christian Tetzlaff, violin - Boulez

Album Summary

>Szymanowski, Karol : Concerto for Violin no 1, Op. 35, M37
>Szymanowski, Karol : Symphony no 3, Op. 27 "Song of the Night"
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Pierre Boulez honors singular Polish composer Karol Szymanowski by recording - live - the Violin Concerto no. 1 and the Symphony no. 3 "Song of the Night." Violin virtuoso Christian Tetzlaff and the Wiener Philharmoniker are peerless participants. The two orchestral works are the high-water mark of Szymanowski's impressionism, an idiom mingling the refined sonorities of Debussy, Ravel, and late Scriabin with the impassioned Romanticism of the New German School. Inspired by Persian poet Rumi, Szymanowski subtitled his Symphony no. 3 "Song of the Night" after a poem by the 13th-century mystic. Emotional, even ecstatic music conveys the poem's supernatural vision of night's unraveling of the mystery of God.

"Opulent and ecstatic, both works benefit hugely from Boulez’s rigorous orchestral control and refined ear for colour. Nowhere do you find Boulez the icy robot, an ancient stereotype that was scarcely valid even when new" -The Times

"Boulez brings welcome astringency to Szymanowski’s colour-burst orchestration in this live recording of the composer’s first Violin Concerto...Tetzlaff’s super-sweet concentrate is at its most intense, hugging the mournful melodic contours, while the Wiener Philharmoniker support with lush brilliance." -The Sunday Times

"[Boulez's] partnership with Tetzlaff and the flexible Vienna Philharmonic is perfectly suited to the lavish orchestration of the First Violin Concerto with its dazzling cadenza and the oriental chromaticism of the choral Third Symphony is shaped and clarified...Definitely a disc of the year." -The Observer

"His crystalline performances with the Vienna Philharmonic make the early 20th century Polish composer sound like a bridge between Scriabin and the French impressionists. Boulez’s ear for detail saves the music from over-saturation, and creates a seemingly endless string of tingling sounds, suspended between the stars and the oceanic depths." -The Financial Times

"Szymanowski’s hyper-elaborate glowing textures are perfectly suited to Boulez’s fastidiously sensuous conducting style. The performance of the Violin Concerto is certainly a marvel. The soloist Christian Tetzlaff floats his tremulously ornate line above the incandescent orchestral sounds with perfect poise." -The Telegraph

"This marks Pierre Boulez's first foray into Szymanowski's music on disc, though his fascination with the Polish composer's work apparently goes back more than half a century...Boulez makes a strong case for the symphony, and is particularly persuasive in the second movement." -The Guardian

"On paper, you'd reckon Szymanowski's strain of delicately perfumed sensuousness ought not to suit Boulez. But luckily CDs exist in sound: Szymanowski's fleeting, sleight-of-hand orchestration, reinforced by harmonies that are deployed as much for colour as their harmonic direction, appeals to the same side of Boulez that relishes unpicking Debussy and Ravel." -Classic FM

"Tetzlaff spins out the exotically tinged melodies of the violin concerto with sensual tone." -The New York Times

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Groáer Musikvereinssaal, Vienna.


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Works Details

>Szymanowski, Karol : Concerto for Violin no 1, Op. 35, M37
  • Performer: Christian Tetzlaff (Violin)
  • Conductor: Pierre Boulez
  • Ensemble: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 18 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1916

>Szymanowski, Karol : Symphony no 3, Op. 27 "Song of the Night"
  • Performer: Steve Davislim (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Pierre Boulez
  • Running Time: 24 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1914-1916