Szymanowski Third and Fourth Symphony on DVD

Antoni Wit has recorded a legendary amount of audio disc on Naxos, but seldom is he seen on video on international release, not least Youtube.

Here it is, featuring maestro Wit in the title. And with a very great repertoire.

This is perhaps the first release of the symphonies of the Polish symphonist Karol Szymanowski on DVD. At long last the mysterious, gigantic third symphony, also known as “Song of the Night,” is pictured. The symphony sets words from poetry by the Arabic Jalāl ad-Dīn ar-Rūmī translated to Polish. While Gustav Mahler did the same with his Das Lied von der Erde, playing around the pentatonicism with the Chinese poetry in a much Westernized tone, Szymanowski did not attempt any direct reference with the Arab music. Instead, the symphony invokes an aura of sensuality and mysticism through colourful harmonies and fluid orchestration.

The fourth symphony, dedicated to Arthur Rubinstein with the title “symphonie concertante,” is a Bartókian concerto featuring a robust piano solo. The mysticism evaporates with a vigorous, sometimes rustic dynamic in the music.

The symphonies are tastefully done by the Wit with detailed crafts on harmonies and musical details. The glistering harmony is further enriched by a deep reverberation of the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall.

There are really many lovely things from ICA Classics. Keep a close eye on this label.

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