PAWEŁ SZYMANSKI (b.1954): Lux aeterna for Voices and Instruments, Miserere for Voices and Instuments, Phylakterion for Voices and Percussion, In paradisum deducant te angeli... for Male Choir.
Catalogue Number: 06S079
Description: Although he has never composed a Mass, throughout his career Szymanski has returned to the liturgy repeatedly, composing a series of works that set sections of the text. The three works from the 1980s and '90s here draw from the Requiem Mass and Psalm 50, the i. Lux æterna and In paradisum have something in common with 'new spirituality' and minimalism, with consonant washes of glowing choral textures in overlapping planes surrounded by an aura of instrumental tintinnabulation in the former case. In paradisum's solemn invocation includes elements of plainchant, and Miserere, in keeping with tradition, alternates verses in plainchant with others in rich polyphony. ΦΥΛΑΚΤΗΡΙΟΝ is more recent and more 'experimental'. Drawing on ancient Greek and Coptic texts of the early Christian church, the piece has something in common with Stockhausen's Stimmung, with fragments of text moving around between voices, and unusual choral textures including moments of chordal consonance of great beauty. The sense of ancient ritual now lost in the passage of time is emphasized by the evocation of the desert wind over the landscape that opens and closes the piece. Katowice City Singers’ Ensemble Camerata Silesia, Members of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Katowice; Anna Szostak.