Szymanowski: King Roger

COMPOSERS: Szymanowski
LABELS: Marco Polo
WORKS: King Roger
PERFORMER: Andrzej Hiolski, Wieslaw Ochman, Barbara Zagórzanka, etcKraków Philharmonic Boys’ Chorus, Polish State PO & Chorus/Karol Stryja, etc
CATALOGUE NO: 8.223339/40 DDD
King Roger is Szymanowski’s post-Boris, post-Pelléas masterpiece. With Mierzejewski’s awesome, stark Olympia version now deleted, Karol Stryja’s doubly luscious, sensual reading is a must. Hiolski shines as the embattled king; Zagórzanka is a spellbinding, soaring Roxana. The sound holds up well. But to survive with only a (very) detailed synopsis is a bit like viewing Bluebeard’s Castle as a vocalise. Roderic Dunnett

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