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“Stanisław Moniuszko is the most important Polish opera composer of the 19th century. He is considered to be the father of Polish national opera, with a role similar to that of Smetana or Glinka in Czech and Russian opera. I was very happy when Naxos proposed recording first his overtures, then ballet and symphonic fragments of his operas. His works include many popular Polish tunes, and I am sure it will surprise music lovers that such wonderful music existed in 19th-century Poland.”

Antoni Wit, conductor

MONIUSZKO, S.: Ballet Music
8.573610
Stanisław MONIUSZKO (1819–1872)
Ballet Music
Hrabina • Halka • The Haunted Manor

Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Antoni Wit

Stanisław Moniuszko was Poland’s leading nineteenth-century opera composer, and has been called the man who bridges the gap between Chopin and Szymanowski. In addition to operatic works he also composed purely orchestral music, and this recording reveals that his essentially lyric style could function perfectly in the non-vocal medium. There is thematically memorable music from the comic opera Hrabina (The Countess), as well as enduring Polish-flavoured dance scenes from his most popular and famous stage work, Halka. The spirited Mazurka from Straszny Dwór (The Haunted Manor), Moniuszko’s crowning operatic achievement, draws freely and inventively from his national heritage.

Listen to an excerpt from Jawnuta:
Gypsy Dance


About the Artists
Antoni Wit
Antoni Wit studied conducting with Henryk Czyz at the Academy of Music in Kraków, continuing his musical studies with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. In January 2002 his recording of Messiaen’s Turangalîla Symphony (8.554478-79) was awarded the Cannes Classical Award at MIDEM Classic 2002. He has recorded a Naxos CD series of Szymanowski’s symphonic and large-scale vocal and instrumental works, each rated Disc of the Month by Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine. In 2012 he received a GRAMMY® Award for Penderecki’s Fonogrammi, Horn Concerto and Partita (8.572482).
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
The Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra tours widely abroad (Europe, both Americas, Japan) in addition to its busy schedule at home in symphony concerts, chamber concerts, educational work and other activities. It now has a complement of 110 players. The orchestra's significant recordings include works by Polish composers Paderewski, Wieniawski, Karłowicz, Szymanowski, Penderecki, Lutosławski, Górecki and Kilar. Many of these have received prestigious awards, including a GRAMMY® in 2012 and six other GRAMMY® nominations.
Antoni Wit’s other recordings of works by Polish composers
8.572716
MONIUSZKO, S.:
Overtures

Warsaw Philharmonic, Wit
“There is a lovely grace and elegance to much of this music, and Wit captures it with a lighter touch than others. The Warsaw Philharmonic is a front rank orchestra, and this music is in their blood.”
Fanfare
  Listen to an extract from
the Overture to Paria
8.555375
GÓRECKI, H.:
Symphony No. 2 / Beatus vir

Polish National Radio Symphony, Wit
“If you find Gorécki a compelling artistic voice – and I do – then these performances will be a worthy addition to your library”
ClassicsToday.com
  Listen to an extract from Symphony No. 2:
Second Movement
“Mr. Wit is a terrific conductor.”
American Record Guide
  Listen to an extract from Symphony in E minor, 'Rebirth':
III Vivace
“The Warsaw Philharmonic under conductor Antoni Wit gives strong, dedicated performances throughout.”
Audiophile Audition ★★★★★
  Listen to an extract from
Horn Concerto, 'Winterreise'

For a complete list of Antoni Wit’s discography,
including more recordings of Polish composers, please click here


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