King Roger – Symphony No. 4 (2 CD)

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Item:825646200511

Description

King Roger – Symphony No. 4 (2 CD)

Composer: Karol Szymanowsk 
Release Date: January 13, 2015
Conductor: Simon Rattle
Artists:
Leif Ove Andsnes
Thomas Hampson
Elzbieta Szmytka
Orchestra: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Label: Warner Classics
Number of discs: 2 CDs

Karol Szymanowski’s Polish opera, King Roger, originated from the composer’s enthusiasm for Mediterranean culture as a melting pot of different peoples and religions.

Set in 12th century Sicily, this richly philosophical work concerns the enlightenment of the Christian King Roger II by a young shepherd, who represents pagan ideals. These characters share the stage with an array of priests, monks, nuns, acolytes, courtiers, guards, eunuchs and Shepherd's disciples – all of which inform the story of his transformation.

Conductor, Simon Rattle coupled with Szymanowski's colorful Fourth Symphony takes the listener on a glorious musical ride and together with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra give a splendid, luminous performance with the solo piano part rendered here skillfully by Leif Ove Andsnes.

The three-act opera, features Thomas Hampson as a solid and persuasive King Roger, singing with warmth and urgency, while Elzbieta Szmytka’s fullness in the punishingly high role of Queen Roxana is electrifying.

"A vibrantly dramatic account, revealing potent theatricality from the outset and sustaining its grip throughout."
– Gramophone



 

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