Szymanowski: Stabat Mater, Harnasie

There is pain and poignancy in the music, but above all a deep expressive beauty, especially in the finale’s soprano melody

Listen to this article

00:00
00:00

The Stabat Mater, one of Szymanowski’s most economical works, asserts his Polish identity far more convincingly than his four symphonies: it makes a valuable addition to Gardner’s Chandos series devoted to this hard-to-categorise early 20th century composer.

There is pain and poignancy in the music, but above all a deep expressive beauty, especially in the finale’s soaring soprano melody. The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, with a quartet of soloists led by Lucy Crowe, give a performance of admirable sensitivity. Harnasie, a 35-minute ballet with choral interjections, vigorous folk rhythms and glimpses of Szymanowski’s sensuous style, has a more incidental character and offers fewer rewards.

Szymanowski

Stabat Mater, Harnasie

Edward Gardner

(Chandos)

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved. You may share using our article tools. Please don't copy articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.