"... I cannot recommend this magnificent work and this recording of it highly enough."
Roger Hecht - American Record Guide - 16 July 2013
"... this is a powerful, strongly communicative work, and it is passionately realized by the Polish performers. Don’t hold back!!!)
Raymond Tuttle - Fanfare - July/August 2013
"...This is a very deep, emotional, and involving work that you will certainly be caughtup in and not forget."
Lynn René Bayley - Fanfare - July/August 2013
**** - Excellent album
Bertrand Dermoncourt - Classica magazine - May 2013
"...As always, in this ongoing Naxos coverage of Weinberg’s symphonic output, every aspect of this production is of the highest calibre. Tenor Rafal Bartminski, soprano Magdalena Dobrowolska, alto Ewa Marciniec, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir and conductor Antoni Wit all come together to fully realize this work’s potential and to convey its profound emotional weight..."
Jean-Yves Duperon - classicalmusicsentinel.com - April 2013
Artistic Quality 9 Sound Quality 9
"...Antoni Wit and his Warsaw forces are almost always at their best in choral music (remember the stunning Mahler Eighth and vocal works of Penderecki). The chorus sings with the right purity and, where called for, intensity. Tenor Rafal Bartminski has a pleasing timbre and makes a very effective soloist. Both women handle their small parts as well as anyone could ask, and the whole production is very well recorded. Naxos makes texts and translations available on its website, fortunately, as the music really does ask that you know what the singing is all about. This is a very fine release of music by an elusive but tremendously sincere and worthy composer."
David Hurwitz - ClassicsToday.com - March 2013
"This is a world première recording of an important work written 50 years ago in 1964, which is always great news in itself, as it allows everyone the opportunity to hear a symphonic work which could have been destined to obscurity. Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s Symphony No. 8, Op. 83 was this composer’s first totally choral and solo vocal symphony, with each of its 10 movements set to various segments of the epic poem Polish Flowers by Julian Tuwim. Don’t be fooled by its suggestive title, as these texts reflect on life in Poland between the two world wars... For example, the first movement Podmuch wiosny (Gust of Spring), does not, in any way, evoke the sense of hope and renewal associated with the arrival of spring. It rivals, if not surpasses, some of Dmitri Shostakovich’s darkest and most desolate moments in its expressive power. And this dark and ominous shroud hangs, like an umbrella, over the whole symphony, culminating here and there in great outbursts of anger and despair. As always, in this ongoing Naxos coverage of Weinberg’s symphonic output, every aspect of this production is of the highest calibre. Tenor Rafal Bartminski, soprano Magdalena Dobrowolska, alto Ewa Marciniec, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir and conductor Antoni Wit all come together to fully realize this work’s potential and to convey its profound emotional weight. A solid surge of interest in Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s music has been growing steadily over the last 15 years or so. And it stands to reason. His music bears witness to a period of the 20th century that has left an indelible mark on humanity, and as such, leaves an indelible mark on our minds. "
Jean-Yves Duperron - The Classical Music Sentinel.com - April 2013
Performance **** Recording *****
"...It was a masterstroke on the part of Naxos to use Polish forces. Antoni Wit and the Warsaw Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra already have a wonderful track record in releases of large-scale choral works, and deliver a performanceof searing intensity."
Erik Levi - BBC Music magazine - May 2013
Rémy Franck - Pizzicato magazine - April 2013
"... Antoni Wit conducts a thoroughly well-prepared account, with respectable solo and choral singing ..."
David Fanning - Gramophone magazine - April 2013
"...an automatic recommenation to Weinberg’s daily growing band of admirers and this is the first recording of No 8, making it an automatic purchase for a good many people..."
Martin Anderson - International Record Review - March 2013
"...Polish Flowers is an expressive, melodic work of considerable elegance and power, its climax tantalisingly hopeful. The Polish Flowers subtitle comes from a set of poems by leading Polish writer Julian Tuwim (1894-1953), from whom Weinberg borrows the texts. In his cycle Tuwim considers, appropriately, Poland’s “troubled past and ominous future ... the three vocal soloists and the choir are very impressive…Antoni Wit keeps everyone and everything together masterfully. Sound quality is worthy of the performances."
Byzantion - MusicWeb-International.com - February 2013
"This sensational recording was produced, engineered and edited by Andrzej Sasin and Aleksandra Nagórko of the Polish label CD Accord.Another major entry in the Weinberg catalogue. The picture continues to emerge and with each instalment we can start forming our own appraisal of this music and the man behind it. Certainly multi-faceted, very humane and un-attracted by fashionable modernism, here is a composer who still sees and acts on the impulse to communicate with audiences beyond academe, beyond factions. His writing is fascinating for what we know and intriguing in the mass of music we have yet to hear. All in all, this is another major and very personal entry in the catalogue. It is one that should also fascinate adherents of Shostakovich’s symphonies of the 1960s."
Rob Barnett - MusicWeb-International.com - January 2013
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