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How many had even heard of Szymanowski before Sir Simon Rattle began recording his music in the 1990s? If you didn't collect the individual volumes you ought to snap up this bargain reissue of the complete Rattle/CBSO recordings.

In any count down of the most beautiful classical music, something by Szymanowski would be in the Top Ten. Whether the haunting beauty of the lead soprano in the Stabat Mater, or the orientalist exoticism of the Violin Concerto No.1. My vote would be for the unforgettable first five minutes of King Roger, the hypnotic chanting and glittering percussion sonorities before the orchestra and choir raise the roof of the temple. Szymanowski's music is a bit of a blend of Scriabinesque fantasy and Bartokian earthiness. Very colourful and very sensuous, but alive with fierce dissonances and thunderous tutti.

In a word: ECSTATIC.
0Comment12 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 May 2011
Those of us lucky enough to have received an education in Szymanowski under Rattle in Birmingham back in the 90s cannot thank EMI enough for making this boxed set available at a bargain price. His music is still rarely played, and for no apparent reason. I can only assume that this is down to the inability of those outside Poland to spell his name, since his music is both profoundly moving, beautiful and completely within a tonal idiom. Anyone wanting to escape into a world of fairy tales and sensuality could do no better than to listen to this boxed set. Enjoy!
0Comment11 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 September 2014
Great box for a small price. "Standard" performances. You get a lot: 4 discs and complete booklet with all the texts en lyrics.
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on 3 March 2015
WOW ...!!!!!!
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on 27 November 2011
Difficult stuff to approach, but this boxed set is the way to go. Fine performances, and a good selection of all types of Szymanowski's works.
0Comment3 of 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 July 2012
There are currently only two recordings of King Roger (my favourite opera) worth considering. The Birmingham/Rattle on EMI and the Polish National Opera/Kaspszyk on CD ACCORD. Wojtek Drabowicz is far better as King Roger than Thomas Hampson. Olga Pasiecznik as Roxana sings with less vibrato than Szmytka. The Polish recording also has far more presence than the EMI recording.

If you like King Roger you will probably like La Fiamma by Respighi.
11 comment5 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 November 2014
OK
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