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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