Wednesday, February 04, 2009

More than the sum of the parts


This depiction of a Station of the Cross is one of a series painted by Jerzy Duda-Gracz (1941-2004) in the monastery at Jasna Gora in Poland. This shrine is the third most visited Catholic pilgrimage site in the world. It contains the icon of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa, and is the national shrine of Poland and the center of the country's Catholicism - around 75% of Poles are practicing Catholics. The icon of the Black Madonna can be seen in the foreground of the painting. Jerzy Duda-Gracz's striking image is used on the new Hyperion CD of contemporary Polish composer Pawel Lukaszewski's (b. 1968) Via Crucis, which is performed by Polyphony and the Britten Sinfonia conducted by Stephen Layton. Back in October last year, when writing about Hyperion's new release of the violin concertos of the Mikolai Roslavets, I said 'For years the dated artwork on Hyperion CDs has been their only weakness, so the 'new look' for this release is particularly welcome.' There is no dated artwork on this latest Hyperion release. Just a magical combination of contemporary art using the full width of the inlay combined with intelligent typography, plus of course new music and a world class orchestra and choir. This CD certainly looks set to deliver more than the sum of its parts. I haven't heard it yet, but the samples on the Hyperion website sound stunning.

See the icon of the black Saint Sarah here.
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7 comments:

Andrew said...

Dear Pliable

I have just today bought and listened to Lukaszewski's fantastic CD Via Crucis (before I saw your post!). It has drama, ritual, spirituality and beauty - you won't be disappointed.

Best wishes
Andrew Smith

Pliable said...

Impressive to see an unsolicited link from the composer's website to this artiucle posted so quickly -

http://www.lukaszewski.org.uk/

Pliable said...

One puzzling point. As I write Lukaszewski's Via Crucis, is not listed on Amazon.co.uk's database, or that of any other major online seller.

Great for the independents, but probably causing lost sales.

Andrew said...

According to the Hyperion website the disc is scheduled for release in March, which might explain why it isn't registered online yet. But I bought my copy at a specialist retailer in Oslo on 4 February. Some labels offer prelease download versions - I bought Tarik O'Regan's Threshold of Night on prelease at iTunes and then bought the hard copy as well for the liner notes...

Pliable said...

An independent UK record retailer reports:

It's due for release in the UK on the 2nd March. I've just spoken to Select (Hyperion's distributor) who appeared very surprised that anyone was selling it. The chap on the phone said it was a 'European Territories' release on 2nd March. His only explanation was that the shop in Oslo have got hold of a promo copy through Select's marketing department and sold it on illegally.

So, we need to wait until March until we can buy this release.

Andrew said...

That's very interesting. Next time I visit the shop I will ask them how they got hold of the copy they sold me. Meanwhile I shall continue to enjoy the recording - as a privileged listener.

Pliable said...

Andrew, an awful lot of readers have seen this post.

If I were you I'd try selling Via Crucis on eBay at a substantial premium!