The physical product (4-CD box set) of this 2004 release has been out of stock for quite some time. We now offer the 4 discs for the first time digitally, as 4 separate albums. These download editions were released in June 2020.
Each album features a different singer. Volume 1: Piotr Beczala (tenor), Volume 2: Juliana Gondek (soprano), Volume 3: Urszula Kryger (mezzosoprano), Volume 4: Iwona Sobotka (soprano). Pianist Reinild Mees accompanies each of the singers on all 4 albums.
You are now on the album page of Volume 3 of the Complete Songs for Voice and Piano by Szymanowski.
URSZULA KRYGER, mezzosoprano
REINILD MEES, piano
KAROL SZYMANOWSKI’S SONGS IN LITERARY AND MUSICAL CONTEXT Romantic and German Influences Changes in Szymanowski’s style and aesthetic attitude are distinctly reflected in his rich legacy of beautifully crafted vocal works, embracing songs with piano or orchestral accompaniment, and written as single compositions or cycles. Starting within the tradition of the Romantic Lied, Szymanowski went on to shape his individual idiom with songs inspired by the exoticism of the Orient in his middle period, and – towards the end of his life – performed a spectacular about-turn leading to a stylization of authentic folklore. Impulses stimulating his creative imagination came from various sources, as Szymanowski continued to work under the influence of general philosophical ideas and particular literary works. Poetry frequently became the means of communication that supplemented his musical expression, with poetical texts forming the basis of musical works and revealing aesthetic tastes of the composer, his system of values and his artistic motivations. An examination of the poetic motifs of the songs thus discloses numerous filiations between the musical style and cultural backdrop of the period in which Szymanowski’s creative personality took shape. (…)
— Zofia Helman, University of Warsaw, Poland (excerpt from booklet liner notes)
[Reprinted from The Songs of Karol Szymanowski and His Contemporaries (Los Angeles: Polish Music Center, 2002)]