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Szymanowski: Symphonies Nos 1 & 2

  • Catalogue Number LSO0731
    UPC 822231173120

    James Mallinson producer
    Neil Hutchinson for Classic Sound Ltd balance engineer

    Recorded live at the Barbican, September & October 2012

    DSD (Direct Stream Digital) recording
    Notes in English / en français / auf Deutsch

  • ICMA Nomination 2014: Symphonic Music

    ‘Being a natural inheritor of Scriabinesque exoticism, Szymanowski is bound to bring out the best in Scriabin’s most imaginative interpreters, which is why Valery Gergiev proves such a convincing interpreter of both works. He draws excellent playing from the London Symphony Orchestra, balance some complex textures with an expert ear and the clear, close-set recording has an impressive dynamic range. Very useful, too, to have the first two symphonies coupled on a single CD.’ Gramophone

    ‘The LSO revel in these romantic sounds with wonderful playing in all sections.’ Auditorium

    ‘Valery Gergiev’s LSO sound is technically brilliant.’ The Arts Desk

    ‘Valery Gergiev, making them [the LSO] sound as passionate as he obviously is himself about Szymanowski’s music. There’s some wonderfully committed vital, colourful playing here, and the Barbican recording lets it all through to us.’
    BBC Radio 3 CD Review

    ***** Performance ‘Gergiev gives a passionate account of this [second] symphony thanks both to some breathtakingly beautiful solos from individual members of the LSO in the work's slower sections and typically incisive playing in the more lively ones as demonstrated, for example, by the crisp articulation of the 2nd symphony's final fugue.’

    ‘The LSO’s performances brim with virtuosic energy.’ Listen


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Valery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra

Valery Gergiev explores the intense expression, fervour and spirituality of Polish composer Karol Szymanowski (1882–1937) with his first recording of the early symphonies on LSO Live.

Karol Szymanowski is emerging as one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century, with the sheer opulence and exotic sensuousness of his music winning over an increasingly wide audience. His First Symphony displays a youthful musical vision besotted with high-Romanticism and mysticism. His Second occupies similar territory, its passion channelled into soaring violin lines and chamber textures. Both make for an enthralling listening experience.

Valery Gergiev says of this project; ‘Szymanowski not only deserves to be widely heard and recognised, but his music also gives us a tremendous opportunity to understand better the development of classical music through the Twentieth Century.’ 

Watch the video trailer here

Composer   Szymanowksi
Conductor   Valery Gergiev
Performers   London Symphony Orchestra

Track list
1. Symphony No 1: I. Allegro patetico
2. Symphony No 1: II. Finale Allegretto con moto. Grazioso
3. Symphony No 2: I. Allegro Moderato. Grazioso
4. Symphony No 2: II. Theme
5. Symphony No 2: III. Variation I
6. Symphony No 2: IV. Variation II
7. Symphony No 2: V. Variation III
8. Symphony No 2: VI. Variation IV
9. Symphony No 2: VII. Variation V
10. Symphony No 2: VIII. Finale Introduction – Variation VI
11. Symphony No 2: IX. Finale – Fugue

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