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KAROL SZYMANOWSKI  

(1882 - 1937)

The Polish composer Karol Szymanowski was born in the Ukraine, once part of the kingdom of Poland, but studied in Warsaw; he was much influenced by Chopin and then by Wagner, Richard Strauss, Brahms and Reger. From a well-to-do and cultured family, he read widely, particularly between 1914 and 1917 when he remained on the family estate in the Ukraine (a property then destroyed in the Civil War). The breadth of his cultural knowledge is reflected in his music and in particular in his settings of a variety of literary texts. Musically he is able at times to draw on specifically Polish material, and on his own perceptions of Arabic and Persian culture.

Stage Works

The principal opera of Szymanowski is King Roger, a work influenced by the Bacchae of Euripides. Here Dionysus returns to similar effect in medieval Sicily. The ballet Harnasie won some success at its first performance in Prague, followed by performance in Paris.

Vocal Music

A number of Szymanowski’s compositions rely on texts, from his 1906 Salome (a fashionable subject), Penthesilea, Love Songs of Hafiz, the Third Symphony (with its ‘Song of the Night’ from Jalāl ad-Dīn ar-Rūmī), Songs of a Fairy-Tale Princess and Songs of the Infatuated Muezzin to the Stabat mater, the Veni creator and the 1933 Litany of the Virgin. Some of Szymanowski’s songs that appear as works for voice and orchestra also exist in a parallel form with piano accompaniment. His settings otherwise range from the literary to the reworking of folksongs.

Orchestral and Chamber Music

Szymanowski’s purely orchestral works include two violin concertos and four symphonies, the last in the form of a sinfonia concertante for piano and orchestra. Most of his chamber music is for violin and piano. Among the best known of these smaller-scale works are Myths for violin and piano (comprising three pieces: The Fountain of Arethusa, Narcissus and Dryads and Pan), a Violin Sonata, Nocturne and Tarantella and a Romance. His two string quartets are performed less often.

Piano Music

Polish tradition is perpetuated in Szymanowski’s 20 Mazurkas. Other piano music includes Masks, Metopes and two sets of studies.

View by Role: Classical Composer | Lyricist
Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
A TO Z OF OPERA Naxos Educational
8.555037-38
Opera
Around The World In 80 Minutes Marco Polo
8.223003
Choral - Sacred
Art and Music: Klimt - Music of His Time Naxos
8.558146
Opera
CASELLA: Sonatina / 9 Pezzi / SZYMANOWSKI: Masques Cedille
CDR90000-003
Instrumental
Cello Recital: Gustafsson, Jan-Erik - SZYMANOWSKI, K. / KODALY, Z. / SCHNITTKE, A. Ondine
ODE827-2
Chamber Music
Chamber Music (String Quartets) - HAYDN, J. / BRAHMS, J. / SZYMANOWSKI, K. / SHCHEDRIN, R. (Apollon Musagete Quartet) Oehms Classics
OC749
Chamber Music
Classical Chill Naxos
8.520101
Instrumental
DAVID, F.: Desert (Le) / SZYMANOWSKI, K.: Piesni muezina szalonego (Breezes From the Orient, Vol. 1) (Guida) Capriccio
C10379
Vocal
LUTOSLAWSKI, W.: Concerto for Orchestra / SZYMANOWSKI, K.: Symphony No. 3 / TCHAIKOVSKY, A.: Symphony No. 4 (Bavarian Radio Symphony, Jansons) BR-Klassik
900107
Orchestral
LUTOSLAWSKI, W.: Violin Music (Complete) / SZYMANOWSKI, K.: Myths / JANACEK, L: Violin Sonata (Daskalakis, Yampolsky) Naxos
8.570987
Chamber Music
MARTIN, F.: String Quartet / SZYMANOWSKI: String Quartet No. 2 / HALLER, H.: String Quartet No. 2 / VOGEL, W.: Colori e Movimenti (Amati Quartet) Divox
CDX-25231-2
Chamber Music
MARTINU / SZYMANOWSKI: Violin Concertos / BARTOK: 2 Portraits Cedille
CDR90000-089
Concertos
Piano Recital: Blechacz, Rafal - SCHUMANN, R. / LISZT, F. / DEBUSSY, C. / SZYMANOWSKI, K. / CHOPIN, F. CD Accord
CDAccordACD136
Instrumental
Piano Recital: Keduk, Kiryl - CHOPIN, F. / ZAREBSKI, J. / SZYMANOWSKI, K. / PADEREWSKI, I.J. / LUTOSLAWSKI, W. (My Polish Diary) Delos
DE3432
Instrumental
Piano Recital: Wiedner-Zajac, Elzbieta - LUTOSLAWSKI, W. / SZYMANOWSKI, K. / ZAREBSKI, J. (Masques - Polish Piano Works) Dorian Sono Luminus
DIS-80121
Instrumental
Polish Heart (The) Naxos
8.554774
Orchestral, Ballet
STABAT MATER - Classical Music for Reflection and Meditation Naxos
8.556706
Choral - Sacred
String Quartets - SHOSTAKOVICH, D. / MARKOWICZ, M. / SZYMANOWSKI, K. (Bridge) (Lutoslawski Quartet) CD Accord
CDAccordACD172
Chamber Music
SZYMANOWSKI : Harnasie / Mandragora / Etude Marco Polo
8.223292
Ballet, Orchestral
SZYMANOWSKI : Songs with Orchestra Marco Polo
8.223294
Vocal, Opera, Vocal
SZYMANOWSKI : Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 Marco Polo
8.223291
Concertos, Orchestral, Concertos
SZYMANOWSKI, K.: Harnasie / Mandragora / Prince Potemkin: Incidental Music to Act V (Warsaw Philharmonic, Wit) Naxos
8.570723
Orchestral, Ballet
SZYMANOWSKI, K.: King Roger (Bregenz Festival, 2009) (Blu-ray, HD) C Major
702904
Opera DVD
SZYMANOWSKI, K.: King Roger (Bregenz Festival, 2009) (NTSC) C Major
702808
Opera DVD
SZYMANOWSKI, K.: King Roger [Opera] (Kaspszyk) CD Accord
CDAccordACD131
Opera
SZYMANOWSKI, K.: Masks / Studies / Mazurkas (Rosenberger) Delos
DE1002
Instrumental
SZYMANOWSKI, K.: Piano Sonata No. 3 / Mazurkas / Masks / Metopes (Pontinen) BIS
BIS-CD-1137
Instrumental
SZYMANOWSKI, K.: Stabat Mater / Veni Creator / Litany to the Virgin Mary / Demeter / Penthesilea (Wit) Naxos
8.570724
Choral - Sacred, Choral - Secular, Vocal, Choral - Sacred
SZYMANOWSKI, K.: String Quartets Nos. 1 and 2 / LUTOSLAWSKI, W.: String Quartet (Silesian String Quartet) CD Accord
CDAccordACD037
Chamber Music
SZYMANOWSKI, K.: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 (Warsaw Philharmonic, Wit) (Blu-Ray Audio) Naxos
NBD0021
Orchestral
SZYMANOWSKI, K.: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 4 / Concert Overture / Study in B-Flat Minor (Warsaw Philharmonic, Wit) Naxos
8.570722
Orchestral
SZYMANOWSKI, K.: Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 (Minkiewicz, Broja, Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, Wit) (Blu-Ray Audio) Naxos
NBD0022
Orchestral
SZYMANOWSKI, K.: Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 (Wit) (NTSC) ICA Classics
ICAD5017
Classical Concert
SZYMANOWSKI, K.: Symphony No. 4, "Symphonie Concertante" / Harnasie (Kord) CD Accord
CDAccordACD027
Orchestral, Ballet
SZYMANOWSKI, K.: Violin and Piano Music (Complete) Ondine
ODE759-2
Chamber Music
SZYMANOWSKI, K.: Violin Concerto No. 1 / BRAHMS, J.: Violin Concerto, Op. 77 (Warsaw Philharmonic Archive) (Oistrakh) (1961, 1969) CD Accord
CDAccordACD118
Concertos
SZYMANOWSKI, K.: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 / Concert Overture (Danczowska, Warsaw National Philharmonic, Kord) CD Accord
CDAccordACD026
Concertos, Orchestral, Concertos
SZYMANOWSKI: Harnasie / Mandragora / Etude for Orchestra Naxos
8.553686
Ballet, Orchestral
SZYMANOWSKI: King Roger Naxos
8.660062-63
Opera
SZYMANOWSKI: King Roger / Prince Potemkin Marco Polo
8.223339-40
Opera, Orchestral
SZYMANOWSKI: Nocturne / CHOPIN: Nocturnes / WIENIAWSKI: Capriccio-Valse Artek
AR-0011-2
Chamber Music
SZYMANOWSKI: Piano Works, Vol. 1 Naxos
8.553016
Instrumental
SZYMANOWSKI: Piano Works, Vol. 2 Naxos
8.553300
Instrumental
SZYMANOWSKI: Piano Works, Vol. 3 Naxos
8.553867
Instrumental
SZYMANOWSKI: Piano Works, Vol. 4 Naxos
8.557168
Instrumental
SZYMANOWSKI: Songs with Orchestra Naxos
8.553688
Opera, Vocal
SZYMANOWSKI: Stabat Mater / Veni Creator / Litania Naxos
8.553687
Choral - Sacred, Choral - Secular, Choral - Sacred, Vocal, Choral - Sacred
SZYMANOWSKI: String Quartet No. 2 / RAVEL: String Quartet Divox
CDX-28902
Chamber Music
SZYMANOWSKI: String Quartets / STRAVINSKY: Concertino Naxos
8.554315
Chamber Music
SZYMANOWSKI: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 Marco Polo
8.223248
Orchestral
SZYMANOWSKI: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 Naxos
8.553683
Orchestral
SZYMANOWSKI: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 Marco Polo
8.223248
Orchestral
SZYMANOWSKI: Symphonies Nos. 2 and 3 (Wit) Naxos
8.570721
Orchestral
SZYMANOWSKI: Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 Naxos
8.553684
Orchestral
SZYMANOWSKI: Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 / Concert Overture Marco Polo
8.223290
Orchestral
SZYMANOWSKI: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 Naxos
8.553685
Concertos, Orchestral, Concertos
SZYMANOWSKI: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 / Nocturne and Tarantella Naxos
8.557981
Concertos, Orchestral, Concertos
SZYMANOWSKI: Violin Sonata / Mythes / Notturne and Tarantella Naxos
8.557748
Chamber Music
THE BEST OF MARCO POLO Marco Polo
8.223002
Concertos
Violin and Piano Recital: Oldak, Maria / Baillieu, James - SZYMANOWSKI, K. / DEBUSSY, C. / KREISLER, F. / TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I. (Modern Times) CD Accord
CDAccordACD193
Chamber Music
Vocal and Orchestral Music - REYER, E. / SYMANOWSKY, K. / CORNELIUS, P. / BEETHOVEN, L. van / GLUCK, C.W. / HASSE, J.A. / MOZART, W.A. Phoenix Edition
Phoenix420
Vocal
Vocal Recital: Shirai, Mitsuko - SCHOECK, O. / BERG, A. / HINDEMITH, P. / NUMMI, S. / BRITTEN, B. / WEBERN, A. / RESPIGHI, O. / BERIO, L. Capriccio
C67024
Vocal
WIENIAWSKI / SZYMANOWSKI: Violin Concertos / LUTOSLAWSKI: Chain 2 Oehms Classics
OC597
Concertos
Role: Lyricist 
Album Title
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