Wladyslaw Zelenski. Janek Opera in 2 acts.

Although the name Zelenskyy is currently widely associated with a terrible theatre of war, the name of Władysław Żeleński, together with this new release of his opera Janek, provide a happy diversion in a more amenable, parallel theatre in neighbouring Poland. This was where Żeleński established himself as a neo⁠-⁠Romantic composer of works infused with evocative national colour and character. There's very little of Żeleński’s music to be found in catalogues, so this world premiere of a complete modern recording of Janek is something to be relished.

World Premiere Recording

Władysław ŻELEŃSKI (1837–1921)
Janek (‘Johnny’)
Opera in two acts (1896–99)
Libretto by Ludomił German (1851–1920)

Małgorzata Grzegorzewicz-Rodek, Agnieszka Kuk, Sopranos
Łukasz Gaj, Tenor • Paweł Trojak, Baritone • Dariusz Górski, Bass
Women’s Choir of The Henryk Wieniawski Philharmonic in Lublin
I Signori Men’s Vocal Ensemble
The Henryk Wieniawski Philharmonic Orchestra in Lublin
Wojciech Rodek

Władysław Żeleński was a neo⁠-⁠Romantic from southern Poland whose compositions were infused with evocative national colour and character. His opera Janek draws on local atmosphere and traditional music but also makes use of the emotive Italian verismo style. Set in the Tatra Mountains, the tragic drama of Janek weaves an entangled tale of romantic attachments and deception, set in motion after the eponymous hero and leader of a band of robbers, arrives wounded at the cottage of the charming Bronka.

Listen to an extract from Act 2 Scene 4:
A wtem jak widmo blada
(And suddenly, as pale as a ghost)
About the Artists
Other recordings featuring Polish composers
Songs and Mélodies
Suite in G major • Nocturne

Adamski • Schmidt • Capella Bydgostiensis • Smolij
‘This is all beautiful music, beautifully performed. …All of this is high romanticism. One wonders why the composer isn’t heard more often.’
American Record Guide

Sutowicz • Molendowska • Goliński • Korpik • Wilczyńska-Goś • Konieczek • Poznań Opera House Orchestra and Chorus • Chmura
‘It is the quality of the entire ensemble that makes this recording so special. The smaller roles are all well cast, and the sound quality is surprisingly clean and rich for a live recording of a staged performance.’
‘This massive stylistic range is negotiated with consummate skill by the Tippett Quartet – no easy task – and the recording by Michael Ponder, made in St John the Evangelist Church in Oxford, is absolutely outstanding, resonant but allowing every detail to be heard.’
Stabat Mater
Veni Creator • Litany to the Virgin Mary

Hossa • Marciniec • Bręk • Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir • Wit
‘An excellent collection of Szymanowski’s choral works in first class sound.’
MusicWeb International
For the full list of opera recordings on Naxos,
please visit www.naxos.com/EditionSeries/Detail/?title=Opera_Classics.

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