A German Requiem : Hope for Humanity
Warsaw Philharmonic Choir (Choirmaster: Henryk Wojnarowski)
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra • Antoni Wit
The longest work in Brahms’s entire oeuvre, A German Requiem was almost certainly triggered by the death of his mother, although it also seems likely that the tragic loss of his friend Robert Schumann, some years earlier, added to its depth and eloquence. Taking inspiration from Bach’s contrapuntal genius but avoiding overt religious tradition, Brahms chose the texts himself, placing an emphasis on an affirmation of life with the suggestion that he would gladly have substituted ‘human’ for ‘German’ in the title. This release joins Antoni Wit’s ‘richly satisfying’ (Gramophone) recording of Brahms Choral Music [8.572694].
Antoni Wit, one of Poland’s most highly regarded conductors, studied with Henryk Czyz at the Academy of Music in Kraków, before continuing as a pupil of Nadia Boulanger in Paris. He became one of Karajan’s assistant conductors after winning second prize in the 1971 International Herbert von Karajan Conducting Competition in Berlin. From 2002 to 2013, Antoni Wit was the managing and artistic director of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir. He was appointed first guest conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra in Pamplona in 2010 and its artistic director in 2013. Wit has made over one hundred recordings for Naxos.
"Antoni Wit is proving to be one of Naxos’s greatest assets, a conductor of strong personality who puts musical values first, yet can readily create both drama and spontaneity in the recording studio." – Gramophone
Christiane Libor was born in Berlin where she studied with Professor Anneliese Fried at the Musikhochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler. In 1997 she attended classes in Lieder interpretation with Dietrich Fischer–Dieskau and Júlia Várady, and attended master–classes with Edith Mathis, Hans Hotter and Peter Schreier. In 1999 she was a prizewinner at the VII. International Mozart Competition in Salzburg. In addition to concert performances, her stage rôles have included the Feldmarschallin’ (Der Rosenkavalier), Leonore (Fidelio) Senta (Der fliegende Holländer), Eva (Die Meistersinger) and Donna Anna (Don Giovanni).
In 2011 THOMAS E. BAUER received no fewer than five awards for his recordings, including the Gramophone Baroque Vocal Award for Handel’s Apollo e Dafne, and the Echo Klassik Award for Elijah. He has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Bernard Haitink), the National Symphony in Washington, DC (Iván Fischer) and the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester (Riccardo Chailly and Sir John Eliot Gardiner). He made his Salzburg Festival début in 2006 in Salvatore Sciarrino’s Quaderno di strada and is a recipient of the Schneider–Schott Music Award for his outstanding achievements in contemporary music.
Founded in 1901, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra tours widely abroad (Europe, both Americas, Japan) in addition to its busy schedule at home in symphony and chamber concerts, educational work and other activities. It now has a complement of 110 players. Recordings include acclaimed interpretations of works by Mahler and Richard Strauss. The orchestra’s releases have won many prestigious awards, including a GRAMMY® in 2012 and six other GRAMMY® nominations.
Founded in 1952, the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir now boasts a wide repertoire that includes more than 150 oratorios and choral works ranging from the Middle Ages to contemporary music. Each year the choir collaborates in some ten symphony and oratorio concerts with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra. It is also very active internationally, with appearances throughout Europe as well as in Israel and in Turkey. In 2009 the choir recorded the only complete version of Moniuszko’s Seven Masses, which won the Polish Fryderyk and French Orphée d’Or awards.