Feliks Nowowiejski’s "Quo vadis" on sale from 7 February
A double CD album with the premiere studio recording of Feliks Nowowiejski’s "Quo vadis" will be released on 7 February 2017. The album, featuring celebrated soloists, contributes to the Nowowiejski Year celebrations and will be brought out on the very day that the composer was born 140 years ago. Krzysztof Zanussi has endorsed the release in a special promotional video.
The following artists have taken part in the recording sessions: Aleksandra Kurzak – soprano, Artur Ruciński – baritone, Rafał Siwek – bass, Sebastian Szumski – baritone, Arkadiusz Bialic – organ, with the Górecki Chamber Choir prepared by Włodzimierz Siedlik and the Symphony Orchestra of the Feliks Nowowiejski Warmian-Masurian Philharmonic in Olsztyn directed by Piotr Sułkowski.
In an interview for the radio station RDC (20 November 2016), Aleksandra Kurzak commented: „The work is sublime, monumental, and extremely difficult: it demands technical mastery from the soloists. I am really happy that an opportunity has arisen to rediscover such a forgotten and underestimated work (…) Let us hope that the recording will help promote the oratorio in Europe and the rest of the world”.
Quo vadis op. 30 is considered the most famous work written by Nowowiejski. It was premiered in Ústí nad Labem in 1907. The inspiration was provided by an internationally-acclaimed novel of the same title written by Henryk Sienkiewicz. The work by Nowowiejski was received around the world equally enthusiastically: in the inter-war period it was given approximately 200 performances in 13 languages, throughout Europe and both Americas.
In his commentary to the work, Dr Marcin Gmys wrote: „Nowowiejski composed Quo vadis, described as dramatic scenes, to the specially commissioned German libretto written by an author he had met in Berlin, Antonia Jüngst (1843-1918), and it is in this original version that the work is presented on this record. The score (…) consists of five scenes. In an incredibly suggestive manner, occasionally verging on naturalism, the composer builds up a metaphor of a struggle between a slowly declining yet still powerful pagan empire and the burgeoning Christianity.
The recording is part of the Feliks Nowowiejski Year 2016, a series of events announced and officially recognised by the Parliament of the Republic of Poland. The album release could not have been made without the financial aid from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Marshal Office of the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship in Olsztyn. Quo Vadis has been produced by the Instytut Muzyki i Tańca (Institute of Music and Dance), which serves as the Year of Nowowiejski Celebration Office, and the Feliks Nowowiejski Warmian-Masurian Philharmonic in Olsztyn, for whom it is an important event constituting the Orchestra’s 70th anniversary celebrations and the climax of the multiple concert enterprises commemorating the institution’s patron. The album is released by the label DUX.
The recording was made at the Concert Hall of the Filharmonia Warmińsko-Mazurska (Warmian-Masurian Philharmonic) in Olsztyn in August and November 2016, with Małgorzata Polańska and Marcin Guz as recording engineers. The music to Quo vadis by Feliks Nowowiejski has been published by Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne (Polish Music Publishing).
The CD debuts on the market on 7 February, when it will be sold at the record company’s website www.dux.pl, and also at www.empik.com and the EMPiK stores nationwide.
Its digital version will be available in the second half of February from Abramus, Amazon, AspiroWiMP, ClassicalArchives, Deezer, Divibib, eClassical, EMusic, Google, Gracenote, Grammofy, Groove, IDAGIO, iHeartRadio, iTunes, KKBOX, MusicNet, MusicReports, Napster, Neurotic, Pandora, PrestoClassical, Primephonic, Qobuz, Rovi, Shazam, SiriusXM, Slacker, SOPROQ, Sound Cloud, SoundExchange, Spotify2, SuperD, YouTube1CID, YouTube2DDEX.