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Czeslaw Marek: Songs & Choral Music / Szmytka, Rigby, Dazeley, Smietana, Burnside

Audio Samples

>Marek, Czeslaw : Lieder (6) for voice & piano, Op. 1
>Marek, Czeslaw : Songs (5) on Poems by Lenau, for voice & piano, Op. 17
>Marek, Czeslaw : Lieder (2) for voice & piano, Op. 12
>Marek, Czeslaw : Na Wsi (Rural Scenes), for voice & piano, Op. 30a
>Marek, Czeslaw : Wiejskie spiewy (Village Songs), for voice & piano Op. 34a
>Marek, Czeslaw : Annemarie - Foxtrot, for voice & piano, Op. 38
>Marek, Czeslaw : Na wsi (7), for high voice & chamber orchestra, Op 30
>Marek, Czeslaw : Village Songs, for chorus, Op. 34
>Marek, Czeslaw : Boze, cos Polske (God Save Poland), for male chorus
>Marek, Czeslaw : Cyt to gra Smierc, for male chorus, Op. 23
>Marek, Czeslaw : Greeting, for male chorus, Op. 6/2
>Marek, Czeslaw : Alpy, for male chorus, 4 horns & orchestra, Op. 5

Album Summary

>Marek, Czeslaw : Lieder (6) for voice & piano, Op. 1
>Marek, Czeslaw : Songs (5) on Poems by Lenau, for voice & piano, Op. 17
>Marek, Czeslaw : Lieder (2) for voice & piano, Op. 12
>Marek, Czeslaw : Na Wsi (Rural Scenes), for voice & piano, Op. 30a
>Marek, Czeslaw : Wiejskie spiewy (Village Songs), for voice & piano Op. 34a
>Marek, Czeslaw : Annemarie - Foxtrot, for voice & piano, Op. 38
>Marek, Czeslaw : Na wsi (7), for high voice & chamber orchestra, Op 30
>Marek, Czeslaw : Village Songs, for chorus, Op. 34
>Marek, Czeslaw : Boze, cos Polske (God Save Poland), for male chorus
>Marek, Czeslaw : Cyt to gra Smierc, for male chorus, Op. 23
>Marek, Czeslaw : Greeting, for male chorus, Op. 6/2
>Marek, Czeslaw : Alpy, for male chorus, 4 horns & orchestra, Op. 5
Performers Conductors Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Polish-born composer Czeslaw Marek (1891-1985) spent his youth in Lviv, Vienna and Berlin, but went to Switzerland at the outbreak of World War I, where he established his career as a composer and teacher. He became a Swiss citizen in 1932. His complete oeuvre for songs with piano are included on the first disc, while works for chorus and chorus and orchestra make up the second cd.

American Record Guide, September / October 2012
There are many marvelous pieces on these discs (and also in the orchestral works originally on Koch that Guild hasn't so far reissued) along with, it must added, a fair number of minor items that might be fairly described as superior salon music. The fine 1914 Violin Sonata, like everything here, is beautifully performed and recorded. But if I had to choose the epitome of Marek's achievement, I'd single out his vocal settings. Again and again he wrote for the voice - and instrumental accompaniments for the voice - with divine inspiration. This is apparent all through the two marvelous discs of vocal works, many of them sung by soprano Elzbieta Szmytka, who has a pure, almost childlike voice of angelic sweetness and sadness, ideal for Marek's settings of Polish folk poetry. Of these there are two enchanting 20-minute cycles, both in versions with piano and with orchestral accompaniment: Rural Scenes from 1929, and Village Songs from 1934. 'Pastorale', the second song in Rural Scenes, and 'Na Wojence Dalekiej' (The Far-Away War), the third song in Village Songs, are ravishing in their haunting loveliness: quite simply among the most beautiful vocal works in creation.



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Works Details

>Marek, Czeslaw : Lieder (6) for voice & piano, Op. 1
  • Performers: Jean Rigby (Mezzo Soprano); Iain Burnside (Piano)
  • Conductor: Gary Brian
  • Ensemble: Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Running Time: 13 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1911

>Marek, Czeslaw : Songs (5) on Poems by Lenau, for voice & piano, Op. 17
  • Performers: William Dazeley (Bass-Baritone); Iain Burnside (Piano)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1915-1917

>Marek, Czeslaw : Lieder (2) for voice & piano, Op. 12
  • Performers: Iain Burnside (Piano); Elzbieta Szmytka (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1914-1915

>Marek, Czeslaw : Na Wsi (Rural Scenes), for voice & piano, Op. 30a
  • Performers: Iain Burnside (Piano); Elzbieta Szmytka (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1929

>Marek, Czeslaw : Wiejskie spiewy (Village Songs), for voice & piano Op. 34a
  • Performers: Elzbieta Szmytka (Soprano); Iain Burnside (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1934

>Marek, Czeslaw : Annemarie - Foxtrot, for voice & piano, Op. 38
  • Performers: William Dazeley (Bass-Baritone); Iain Burnside (Piano)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1937

>Marek, Czeslaw : Na wsi (7), for high voice & chamber orchestra, Op 30
  • Performer: Elzbieta Szmytka (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Gary Brain
  • Running Time: 1 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1929

>Marek, Czeslaw : Village Songs, for chorus, Op. 34
  • Performer: Elzbieta Szmytka (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Gary Brain
  • Running Time: 5 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Marek, Czeslaw : Boze, cos Polske (God Save Poland), for male chorus
  • Conductor: Gary Brain
  • Running Time: 1 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Marek, Czeslaw : Cyt to gra Smierc, for male chorus, Op. 23
  • Conductor: Gary Brain
  • Running Time: 7 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Marek, Czeslaw : Greeting, for male chorus, Op. 6/2
  • Conductor: Gary Brain
  • Running Time: 2 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Marek, Czeslaw : Alpy, for male chorus, 4 horns & orchestra, Op. 5
  • Conductor: Gary Brain
  • Running Time: 6 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern