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Urszula Kryger - Chopin: Polish Songs (2006)

Classic | Author: SELMER | 14-06-2017, 22:49
Urszula Kryger - Chopin: Polish Songs (2006)
Artist: Urszula Kryger
Title Of Album: Chopin: Polish Songs
Year Of Release: 2006
Label: Hyperion
Country: UK
Genre: Classical
Quality: FLAC (*image + .cue, log, artwork)
Bitrate: Lossless
Time: 67:47 min
Full Size: 226 MB


01. Spring Op.74 No.2
02. There Where She Loves; What She Likes Op.74 No.5
03. Drinking Song Op.74 No.4
04. Lithuanian Song Op.74 No.4
05. Witchcraft
06. Handsome Lad Op.74 No.8
07. The Maiden's Wish Op.74
08. My Darling Op.74
09. Out Of My Sight Op.74 No.6
10. The Warrior Op.74 No.10
11. Leaves Are Falling Op.74 No.17
12. The Messenger Op.74 No.7
13. The Ring Op.74 No.14
14. The Bridegroom Op.74 No.15
15. The Sad River Op.74 No.3
16. Reverie
17. The Twofold End Op.74 No.11
18. I Want What I Have Not Op.74 No.13
19. Elegy: Lamento Op.74 No.9
20. Mazurka In F Sharp Minor Op.6 No.1
21. Mazurka In F Minor Op.7 No.3
22. Mazurka In C Major Op.33 No.3
23. Mazurka In E Flat Minor Op.6 No.4
24. Mazurka In G Major Op.50 No.1

Frederic Chopin's songs, in Polish, certainly stand to one side of his piano repertory. The 19 songs presented here were composed for personal use, addressed either to friends and lovers or to emigres who, like Chopin, sympathized with Polish nationalist causes. There was no market for Polish-language songs in Paris, and these were not published until after the composer's death. Yet they are recognizably products of his muse, and their specialized quality sheds the light of insight onto the composer's piano music. Some of the works here have been sung more passionately by the likes of Ewa Podles, but the complete traversal of the songs works in favor of this recording by Polish mezzo-soprano Urszula Kryger and accompanist Charles Spencer -- the songs fall into distinct groups whose relationships with the genres of Chopin's piano music become clearer if one hears them all together. Some songs make explicit the nationalist emotions that lurk in a good deal of Chopin's other music. In Wojak (The Warrior), track 10, one hears stirring martial music reminiscent of works such as the "Revolutionary" etude, but more often, as in the final Melodia, written at the end of Chopin's life, the mood is tragic. It is in a group of more folk-like pieces with romantic themes that the songs differ most sharply from the composer's piano music, although the mazurka rhythm is often used. Instead of elaborating dance rhythms, Chopin tends to strip them down in ways that more than once evoke the folk-influenced songs of Brahms. Again the composer is at his best when he is being most serious, as in the severe melody of Dwojaki koniec (Death's Divisions), track 17. Kryger has a very rich instrument of just the sort for which Chopin must have intended these songs, and Spencer is sensitive to the points at which the composer does (try Narzeczony, track 14) and does not use the piano as an independent voice in the dialogue -- it happens less often than one might think for a composer so strongly oriented toward the piano. The disc is rounded out by texted Chopin piano works commissioned by Spanish singer Pauline Viardot (she is not really the composer, contrary to what the back cover implies, but essentially an arranger); the texts of these are pretty trite, but the songs were immensely popular in the nineteenth century, and they offer an intriguing counterpoint to the genuine Chopin article. Every Chopin lover should at least give his songs a try, and this 1999 disc, nicely recorded in Germany, made an ideal candidate for budget-price reissue. -- James Manheim

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