[La Musique d’une vie…]
As Friedrich Nietzche once said: “Without music, life would be a mistake”, and I could not but agree more! I decided to start this year with a great album available online through the services of my favorite iTunes.
The first choice for the holiday season is the great solo album by the famous and extraordinary Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecien. Actually, it is the first and the only album recorded so far by this confirmed and often adored artist. I very much liked the title of his album: “Slavic Heroes”, recorded by Harmonia Mundi, with the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by the great, young Polish conductor and artistic director Lukasz Borowicz.
The arias from the operas by Russian, Czech and Polish composers are included in this great album. The arias by the Polish composers, contributed greatly to my collection, as Moniuszko, the father of the Polish opera was not often recorded abroad. The other Polish composer included in the album is the 20th century famous Szymanowski. As a matter of fact, Kwiecien selected three arias from the operas composed by Moniuszko, including the Polonaise from “The Haunted Manor” and the intense performance of “Halka”. These are the first recordings of the great Polish composer in my private collection and Kwiecien was robust, strong and persuasive…
[La Musique d’une vie…Entre le rêve et la réalité. Signé Lanski, Passy, 2012, Technique mixte]
The ‘great classics’ included in the album represent the arias from the operas by the famous Russian composers Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Borodin and Rimsky-Korsakov and those by the Czech composers Dvorak and Smetana. Kwiecien, a great operatic star on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, has the ability to perfectly well color the voice, adapting to the roles and different characters from Borodin’s Prince Igor to Rachmaninof’s Aleko and Tchaikovski’s antihero Onegin… Onegin remains one of Kwiecien’s signature roles. Kwiecien opened the Met Opera Season 2013/14 singing the title role in the new production of Eugene Onegin, conducted by Valery Gergiev, the role he will sing in Vienna, on the stage of my favorite Vienna State Opera, with Dinara Alieva and Rolando Villazon and I can hardly wait for the first performance scheduled for March 7th 2014, to enjoy in this extraordinary event…
Listening to Kwiecien on this album was quite a nice artistic experience, as his voice was impressive and his adaptability to different roles, was astonishing. I did enjoy listening to this album. This was definitely worth adding to my collection and I would warmly recommend this album. Impressive. I believe Kwiecien needs to continue recording the carefully selected arias, as this album was quite a nice refreshment compared to numerous “new” solo albums by some of the great singers, which were more commercial than artistic. Kwiecien accomplished a remarkable entirely artistic project. Bravissimo! Encore!