King Roger  (Szymanowski)  (Rattle;  Langridge, Hampson,  Szmytka)  (2-EMI 56824)
Item# OP0037
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King Roger  (Szymanowski)  (Rattle;  Langridge, Hampson,  Szmytka)  (2-EMI 56824)
OP0037. KING ROGER (Szymanowski), recorded 1998, w.Rattle Cond. City of Birmingham Ensemble; Philip Langridge, Thomas Hampson, Elzbieta Szmytka, Ryszard Minkiewicz, Robert Gierlach, Jadwiga Rappe, etc.; SIMON RATTLE Cond. City of Birmingham S.O., w.Leif Ove Andsnes (Pf.): Symphony #4 (both Szymanowski). (UK) 2–EMI 56824, Slipcase Edition w.142pp. Libretto-Brochure. Final Copy! - 724355682321


“Szymanowski's KING ROGER has never found its way into the standard repertoire, but it remains an intriguing work with many fiercely loyal advocates. It's easy to understand its appeal; it's written in a lush, post-Romantic style that echoes Strauss, Mahler, and Ravel filtered through the sensibilities of the composer's eastern European roots, and it offers singers (particularly the soprano) ample opportunities to shine. Its broad acceptance has probably been hobbled most by its lack of a convincing dramatic structure. An examination of the clash of Apollonian and Dionysian sensibilities, exemplified by Roger, a twelfth century king of Sicily and a charismatic shepherd, the only dramatic movement is the conversion of Roger's court (and eventually the king himself) from a rigid religiosity to the pleasures of sensuality.”