Karol Szymanowski spent his early years in Ukraine (where many affluent Polish families still owned land at the time). An injury to the leg forced young Karol into a life of relative inactivity, and, from age seven on, attendance at school was replaced by rigorous musical studies (first under his father's tutelage, and then, from 1892 on, at Gustav Neuhaus' music school in Elisavetgrad). Although early training focused on the piano, Neuhaus was quick to observe his young student's potential as a composer. While in Elisavetgrad, Szymanowski was introduced to the German classics as well as to Chopin and Scriabin. After studies with Noskowski in Warsaw from 1903 to 1905, Szymanowski lived for a time in Berlin, helping to found ……All Music Guide
Perhaps Szymanowski’s music is too cool and sophisticated ever to become popular. Even the third of his Op. 4 Studies, which Paderewski made famous, is less full-bodied than Scriabin’s early C sharp minor Étude, and while Scriabin believed in the madness of his later music, Szymanowski’s apparent abandon in his voluptuous period around the First World War is crafted with detachment. Dennis Lee clarifies the cascades of notes – or rather sonorities – in the two major sets, Métopes and Masques, so that these complex pieces are understood more easily than usual. The recorded sound is a bit thin and small, but clean.
Three of Szymanowski’s most important works show Rattle’s ability to energise music in which he believes. Sensuality and cogency blend in refined sound.
The Norwegian lords of dark psychedelic folk prog return! Tusmørke´s third album is a stone cold killer. These songs turn heavy metal wallflowers into dancing nymphs and satyrs. The group explore ancient folk lore of Oslo, the spheres on the far side of death and space and the pathless lands off the beaten track. Ført Bak Lyset means “led behind the light”; follow Tusmørke through the falling dusk and disappear in the night, reappearing at dawn with weird wisdom and strange leaves in your hair.