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Karol Szymanowski: Stabat Mater; Harnasie / Lucy Crowe, Pamela Helen Stephen, robert Murray, Gabor Bretz

Notes & Reviews:

With this new release Edward Gardner and the BBC Symphony Orchestra continue their critically acclaimed series exploring Polish music for Chandos. It features two large scale works by Karol Szymanowski, the expressive Stabat Mater and the vigorous and colorful ballet Harnasie. The Stabat Mater, recorded here in its 1965 revised version, features a cast of internationally acclaimed soloists: Lucy Crowe, Pamela Helen Stephen, Robert Murray and Gabor Bretz.

Financial Times, 7th September 2013
There is pain and poignancy in the music, but above all a deep expressive beauty, especially in the finale's soaring soprano melody. The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, with a quartet of soloists led by Lucy Crowe, give a performance of admirable sensitivity.

MusicWeb International, 2nd October 2013
Lucy Crowe especially has a beautifully clean and pure voice and makes the most ethereal sound in this gorgeous music. Her partnership with Pamela Helen Stephen is a joy to hear.

Gramophone Magazine, October 2013
A performance that is judged to a nicety through Edward Gardner's wise, sensitive pacing and his subtle, supple summoning up of the music's devotional aura.

The Guardian, 24th October 2013
Gardner's performance [of Harnasie] with the BBC Symphony Orchestra vividly captures that earthy, unbuttoned spontaneity and the rhythmic drive of the music; his account of the other major work of Szymanowski's final period, the Stabat Mater, is just as convincing.

BBC Music Magazine, November 2013
Once again, Edward Gardner shows that he excels in Szymanowski's rich orchestral tapestries. This performance mixes wild mystery with coruscating brilliance, somehow managing - despite being recorded in Croydon last winter - to breath the high-mountain air.


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