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James A. Altena
Fanfare, May 2016

…conductor Antoni Wit and the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra provide letter-perfect renditions that also fully capture the spirit as well. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review

Remy Franck
Pizzicato, December 2015

Through Polish poets from different styles and periods, Krzysztof Penderecki takes the listener on a fascinating journey from childhood to death. The performance is emotional and brilliant, and the Warsaw Philharmonic enthuses by its refined and transparent playing. © 2015 Pizzicato

Daniel Coombs
Audiophile Audition, November 2015

Absolutely atmospheric settings from this ever-adapting master.

…Highly recommended! © 2015 Audiophile Audition Read complete review, November 2015

The soloists are all very good on this Naxos recording… Antoni Wit here reaffirms his sensitivity to Penderecki and to Polish music in general, shaping the work lovingly and leading both chorus and orchestra with sure understanding. © 2015 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, October 2015

Continuing Naxos’s detailed survey of the music of the Krzysztof Penderecki, we come to his extended song cycle, ‘A sea of dreams did breathe on me…’ Composed in 2010, the composer described the work as ‘Songs of reflection and nostalgia for soprano, mezzo-soprano, baritone, mixed choir and orchestra’, and he continues back down the road towards the Romantic era, stopping off at the time of French Impressionism. Indeed the first movement, ‘The enchanted garden’, we could well be listening to Debussy with a hint of Szymanowski, the orchestral part both sumptuous and warmly scored. The Polish texts for the twenty-two songs come largely from the earlier part of the 20th century, and express so many differing feelings from the views of children to the cross from which Christ hangs. Words are depicted and reflected in equal measure, and though the songs are separated, Penderecki welds them together to form three cohesive movements. The nature of the words largely dictates the soloist used, the second, ‘What is the night saying’, being generally slow and sombre, with just a hint of Shostakovich in the suffering mode of Russian people, and at the centre point Tadeusz Miciński’s poem that gives the work its title. The final movement is on the subject of death, ‘I visited you in these near-final days…’ ending with an Angelus for chorus that had also ended the first part, and is the work’s most extended section. For the soprano, Olga Pasichnyk, the writing at times takes her uncomfortably high, and I guess that would be the case with most singers, though her voice is gorgeously creamy in the more relaxed moments of the first movement. The baritone, Jarosław Bręk, finds himself in the more chilling and darkly emotional poems, with Ewa Marciniec having a more easy time as the mezzo-soprano. As with all of this series, Antoni Wit is the dedicated guide to Penderecki, his superb Warsaw forces captured in a recording of outstanding quality. © 2015 David’s Review Corner

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