Arnold Schönberg

Gurre-Lieder Dramatic Cantata

Gabriel Chmura
Conductor
NOSPR
NFM Choir
Chór Polskiego Radia w Krakowie
The Kaunas State Choir
The Podlasie Philharmonic and Opera Choir
Anna Gabler
soprano
Yvonne Naef
mezzo-soprano
Thomas Mohr
tenor
Dan Karlström
tenor
Ralf Lukas
bass-baritone
Dietrich Henschel
speaker

Gabriel ChmuraFormer Music Director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Canada, and the Bochum Symphony Orchestra, Germany, Gabriel Chmura then became the Music Director of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice. Since August 2012, he has been the artistic director of the Poznan Opera in Poland.

Born in Poland, Gabriel Chmura grew up in Israel, where he studied piano and composition at the Music Academy of Tel Aviv. He then studied conducting with Pierre Dervaux in Paris, Hans Swarowsky in Vienna and with Franco Ferrara in Siena, Italy.
In 1971 he was first prize winner at the Herbert von Karajan Competition in Berlin, as well as the Gold Medal at the Cantelli Competition of Milano’s La Scala. These victories led to extensive international engagements. Recently, Gabriel Chmura won 2012 Jan Kiepura Prize 2012 in the category of the best conductor.

Gabriel Chmura has recorded with the London Symphony for DGG, and with the Munich and the Berlin Radio Orchestras for CBS. Schubert’s Lazarus with the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra, Hermann Prey and Edith Mathis on the Orfeo label received the Grand Prix de Disque Mondial de Montreux. His recording of Haydn’s Symphonies No 6, 7 and 8 with the National Arts Centre Orchestra for CBC was chosen as Best Choice by the American Record Guide and was nominated for the Canadian JUNO Award.
The recent recording of the Symphony No 1 by Mahler and the Sibelius Valse Triste, the principal work from the 2002 UK tour, has been very well received in Europe. After the huge success of the first 2 Weinberg CDs for Chandos (Symphony No 5 and Sinfonietta No 1, Symphony No 4, Sinfonietta No 2 and the Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes) the series has been followed by the release of the Symphonies No 14 & 16.


NOSPR

NOSPRfulfils the role of an ambassador of Polish culture on the international artistic scene. The ensemble has performed in Brussels (Europalia), Vienna (the opening of the Polish Year in Austria), Madrid (the gala concert of the Polish year in Spain), Rome (the celebration of the 70th anniversary of H.M. Górecki’s birthday), Kiev (the inauguration of the Polish Year in Ukraine), Paris (the gala concert of the New Poland Polish Year in France), and in London (the inauguration of the Polish year in Great Britain). The Orchestra has collaborated with some of the greatest composers of the second half of the 20th century: Witold Lutosławski, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Krzysztof Penderecki, delivering the first performances of their works.

The NOSPR was founded in 1935 in Warsaw by Grzegorz Fitelberg who led it until the outbreak of World War II. In 1945, the orchestra was revived in Katowice by Witold Rowicki. In 1947, the post of the artistic director was taken again by Fitelberg. After his death in 1953, the orchestra was headed in succession by Jan Krenz, Bohdan Wodiczko, Kazimierz Kord, Tadeusz Strugała, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Stanisław Wisłocki, Jacek Kaspszyk, Antoni Wit, Gabriel Chmura and, once again, by Jacek Kaspszyk. In September 2000, Joanna Wnuk-Nazarowa became the institution’s General and Programme Director. Since 2009, the post of the Associate Conductor has been entrusted to Michał Klauza. Stanisław Skrowaczewski is the first Guest Conductor of the NOSPR, Jan Krenz is a Honorary Conductor. On the 31st of August 2012, Alexander Liebreich became the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the NOSPR.

Apart from making archival recordings for the Polish Radio, the Orchestra has recorded more than 200 CD albums for many renowned record companies (including Decca, EMI, Philips, Chandos, and Naxos). The PNRSO was honoured with numerous awards for its phonographic achievements, including Diapason d’Orand Grand Prix du Disque de la Nouvelle Académie du Disque, the Cannes Classical Award, and the Midem Classical Award.

Many renowned conductors and soloists have performed with the NOSPR, including Martha Argerich, Boris Belkin, Leonard Bernstein, Rudolf Buchbinder, James Conlon, Placido Domingo, Pierre Fournier, Nicolai Gedda, Barbara Hendricks, Julius Katchen, Leonidas Kavakos, Wilhelm Kempff, Paweł Klecki, Kirill Kondrashin, Marguerite Long, Witold Lutosławski, Charles Mackerras, Mischa Maisky, Neville Marriner, Kurt Masur, Shlomo Mintz, Ivan Monighetti, Garrick Ohlsson, Kun Woo Paik, Krzysztof Penderecki, Maurizio Pollini, Hermann Prey, Ruggiero Ricci, Mstislav Rostropovich, Artur Rubinstein, Jerzy Semkow, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Leonard Slatkin, Isaac Stern, Henryk Szeryng, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Pieter Wispelwey, Krystian Zimerman, and Nicolai Znaider.

The Orchestra has performed in nearly all the European countries, in the Americas, as well as in Japan, Hong Kong, China, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Taiwan and in the Persian Gulf countries. In the recent years, the PNRSO has implemented some spectacular projects which have been very well received by audiences and reviewers alike (The Marathon of Górecki’s Works, The Liking to Kilar’s Music, Musical Voyage(two editions), The Górecki•Penderecki Festival – in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the artist’s birth). Since 2005, the NOSPR has been the organiser of the biennial event called The Festival of World PremieresPolish Modern Music.

On the 1st of October 2014, the NOSPR inaugurated the artistic season in its new seat. The author of the architectonic project is Konior Studio from Katowice and the concert hall acoustics have been designed by Nagata Acoustics.

 


NFM Choirwas founded in 2006 by Andrzej Kosendiak and, since its inception, has been functioning under the directorship of Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny. It has soon established itself as one of Poland’s leading choral ensembles, thanks to its rich and varied repertoire, which includes works from the Renaissance to the Contemporary and from a capella to vocal-instrumental in the form of oratorio, opera, and symphony. It has collaborated with such distinguished conductors as Paul McCreesh, Giovanni Antonini, Jacek Kaspszyk, Krzysztof Penderecki, James MacMillan, Bob Chilcott, and Jan Łukaszewski.

In a few years the Choir has performed over 200 times, collaborating among others with the Gabrieli Consort, Il Giardino Armonico and NDR Orchestra, giving concerts at the Salle Pleyel (Paris), the Barbican Centre (London), the Royal Albert Hall (London), Gewandhaus (Leipzig). It was a guest of the music festivals: Schleswig-Holstein, Gent van Vlaanderen, Wratislavia Cantans, Warsaw Autumn. In addition to regular performances with the other NFM ensembles, the group is touring Poland performing with leading Polish philharmonic orchestras, including the Polish Radio Orchestras in Katowice and Warsaw. It is often being broadcast on the Polish Radio and abroad. In 2009 and 2011, it was the first Polish choir to be invited to the legendary BBC Proms. In 2011, at the Varaždin Baroque Evenings festival in Croatia, it received one of the three main awards – the Kantor Award for exceptional performance of works by J.S. Bach. Whilst continually expanding its work across Europe, the Choir made its first tour of the United States of America in June 2013, and in October it performed with the world-wide known group The Swingle Singers.


Chór Polskiego Radia w Krakowiezałożony został przez Jerzego Gerta w październiku 1948. Od ponad 65 lat swojej działalności wykonuje repertuar obejmujący zarówno muzykę a cappella, jak i formy wokalno-instrumentalne. Podczas Międzynarodowego Festiwalu w Edynburgu krytyk Simon Thompson tak pisał o zespole: „Gdy przenikliwie piękne akordy rozpoczynające słynne «Totus Tuus» Henryka Mikołaja Góreckiego tchnęły żywy ogień we wnętrzu kościoła Greyfriars Kirk, wiedziałem, że czeka mnie niezwykły koncert. Brzmienie chóru jest nie tylko piękne, ale także niezwykle rozpoznawalne. Słuchając koncertu, pomyślałem, że tak właśnie brzmi idealne spotkanie Wschodu z Zachodem”.

Poza działalnością koncertową Chór PR dokonuje nagrań archiwalnych dla Polskiego Radia, a także nagrań płytowych dla polskich i zagranicznych firm fonograficznych. Udziałem chóru są prawykonania dzieł najwybitniejszych współczesnych kompozytorów polskich, m.in. Witolda Lutosławskiego, Henryka Mikołaja Góreckiego, Krzysztofa Pendereckiego czy Wojciecha Kilara. Zespół brał udział w licznych festiwalach w kraju i za granicą, prezentując się podczas takich wydarzeń jak Wratislavia Cantans, Wielkanocny Festiwal Ludwiga van Beethovena, Warszawska Jesień, Misteria Paschalia, Sacrum Profanum, Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival, Rossini Opera Festival, Edinburgh International Festival. Chór współpracuje stale z Narodową Orkiestrą Symfoniczną Polskiego Radia w Katowicach oraz Polską Orkiestrą Radiową. Do marca 2012 działał w strukturach Polskiego Radia SA. W październiku 2012 podpisana została umowa pomiędzy Polskim Radiem SA a Fundacją Rozwoju Sztuki Sonoris, na mocy której marka Chóru Polskiego Radia, jej kontynuacja oraz dalszy rozwój powierzone zostały Fundacji. Dyrektorem artystycznym zespołu jest Izabela Polakowska-Rybska.

Udział Chóru Polskiego Radia w koncercie w ramach projektu “Chór Polskiego Radia – dedykacje muzyczne” dofinansowanego ze środków Ministerstwa Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego.


The Kaunas State Choirwas founded in 1969 as an ensemble of the Lithuanian Philharmonic Society. Since its inception, it has been led by one of the most prominent Lithuanian conductors, professor Petras Bingelis.

 

The choir’s repertoire encompasses 150 vocal-instrumental pieces, such as Bach’s Mass in B minor, Missa Solemnis, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Händel’s oratorios, Mahler’s Symphonies No. 2 and No. 8, the Orff trilogy, Verdi’s The Force of Destiny, as well as pieces by Stravinsky, Vivaldi, Rossini, Dvořak, Schubert, and Gershwin. The repertoire also features works by Lithuanian composers, including oratorios by Bronius Kutavičius, Julius Juzeliūnas, Requiem by Vidmantas Bartulis, and songs by the Lithuanian classics.

 

After the fall of the Iron Curtain and the restoration of Lithuanian independence, the choir has increased its activity in the west of Europe. Western critics heralded it as the musical discovery of the year, and the opinion was shared by the distinguished violinist and conductor Yehudi Menuhin. Together with Menuhin as its conductor, the choir toured France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Egypt, and Russia.

 

has taken part in many international music festivals, such as Bordeaux Spring, The Mediterranean Coast, as well as festivals in Reims, and Schleswig-Holstein. It has repeatedly performed with such symphony orchestras as the London BBC, the National Bordeaux Aquitaine, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Moscow and Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestras, and others. The Choir has performed with Dmitri Kitayenko, Cyril Diederich, Yan Pascal Tortelier, John Axelrod, Vladimir Spivakov, and Valery Gergiev.

 

Among the choir’s most prominent recordings are the Messiah by Händel, The Creation by Haydn, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Schubert’s Masses, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2. A special place in the discography is dedicated to choral works by Lithuanian composers – Čiurlionis, Naujalis, Sasnauskas, Dvarionas, Juzeliūnas, and Kutavičius.

 


The Podlasie Philharmonic and Opera Choirwas established in March 2006. The core of the Choir is comprised of artists who have sung for many years in the Białystok Chamber Choir Cantamus Cantica, led by the current conductor and artistic director of the choir – Professor Violetta Bielecka.

The Choir’s repertoire is extremely rich – it includes oratorio programs, operas, major works of church music and works of contemporary composers, performed in collaboration with leading Polish and foreign orchestras.

The group has often participated in first performances of works by contemporary Polish composers, including Krzysztof Penderecki, Stanisław Moryto, Maciej Małecki, Marian Borkowski, Paweł Łukaszewski, Józef Świder and Romuald Twardowski.

The group is proud to collaborate regularly with Krzysztof Penderecki (e.g. in 2008 performed Symphony no 8 The songs of passing during a concert inaugurating the 75th anniversary of the composer’s birth that took place in the Podlasie Philharmonic and Opera Choir’s Concert Hall and Seven Gates of Jerusalem at the Grand Theatre – National Opera under the guidance of Maestro himself).

The Choir is very active in the country and abroad (it has visited such countries as Belgium, Belarus, France, Lithuania, Moldova, Germany, Romania, Ukraine and Italy). It regularly participates in important musical events in Poland and is invited to prestigious festivals, including the Beethoven Easter Festival, the International Wratislavia Cantans Festival, the International Warsaw Autumn Contemporary Music Festival, the International Gaude Mater Church Music Festival, the Singer’s Warsaw Jewish Culture Festival, and the International Chopin and his Europe Music Festival.

In 2009, the Choir was honoured with the Fryderyk music award in the Best CD Debut of the Year category for the Górecki, Moryto, Szymanowski – Kurpian songs album.


Anna Gablerw sezonie 2001/2002 dołączyła do zespołu Deutsche Oper am Rein oraz Staatsoper w Norymberdze, a także występowała gościnnie w Operze Bawarskiej w Monachium i Teatrze Operowym w Dreźnie, współpracując z takimi dyrygentami jak Ivor Bolton, Fabio Luisi i Peter Schneider. W 2006 zadebiutowała w Semperoper w Dreźnie w roli Małgosi w przedstawieniu Jaś i Małgosia Humperdincka w reżyserii Kathariny Thalbachs, rejestrowanym i emitowanym przez stacje telewizyjne ZDF oraz Arte.

W 2007 artystka otrzymała swoje pierwsze zaproszenie do Bayreuth, do roli Ortlinde w Wagnerowskiej Walkirii prowadzonej przez Christiana Thielemanna. Kolejne międzynarodowe projekty, w których wzięła udział to występy w Elektrze R. Straussa w Théâtre de la Monnaie w Brukseli, Welcome to the Voice Nieve’a w Théâtre du Châtelet w Paryżu, Zemście nietoperza J. Straussa i Arabelli R. Straussa w New National Theatre w Tokio oraz w repertuarze wagnerowskim: w Zmierzchu bogów w Staatsoper Hamburg pod dyrekcją Simone Young, Śpiewakach norymberskich na Glyndebourne Festival pod batutą Władimira Jurowskiego oraz podczas Salzburger Festspiele, w Latającym Holendrze w Teatro Comunale di Bologna i Złocie Renu w Nederlandse Opera w Amsterdam.

Istotną część działalności artystki stanowią występy koncertowe, m.in. w Requiem Verdiego wraz z berlińskim zespołem Konzerthausorchester pod dyrekcją Yutaka Sado, IX Symfonii Beethovena w Hiroszimie i Tokio pod dyrekcją Eiji Oue oraz Walkirii Wagnera wraz z Berliner Philharmoniker prowadzonymi przez Sir Simona Rattle’a.


Yvonne NaefKnown far and wide for the earthiness of her dark colored and powerful mezzosoprano. Swiss-born Yvonne Naef appears regularly at the foremost opera houses and concert venues around the globe (The Metropolitan Opera, Opera de Paris, the State Operas of Vienna and Hamburg, the Zurich Opera, Salzburg Festival, Salle Pleyel, Musikverein and Konzerthaus Vienna, Philharmony Berlin, Royal Albert and Carnegie Halls etc.). With a repertoire that spans a period from Baroque to Contemporary composers, she collaborates with renowned conductors such as Pierre Boulez, James Levine, Christoph Eschenbach, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Bernard Haitink, Vladimir Fedoseyev, James Conlon, Daniele Gatti, Semyon Bychkov, Michael Tilson Thomas, Franz Welser-Möst and Marc Minkowski.

Among her most prominent appearances of the recent past we find Quickly/Falstaff, Ulrica/Un Ballo in Maschera and Kundry/Parsifal with the Zurich Opera, Mahler’s Symphony no 8 at the Salzburger Festival under Gustavo Dudamel, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges at the Saito Kinen Festival under Seiji Ozawa, Kundry/Parsifal with the National Opera of Seoul, Stravinsky’s Oedipus rex at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and concerts in Boston, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and Tokyo. Notable engagements to come are Verdi’s Ballo in Maschera in Hamburg, as well as opera and concert performances in Katowice, Zurich, Paris, Geneva, Barcelona, and Amsterdam.

Many CD/DVD and radio broadcasts of Ms Naef’s performances are available, including Il Trovatore by Verdi, Reingold and Walküre by Wagner, Christmas Oratorio and cantatas by Bach, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Schoeck’s Penthesilea and Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder, songs by Shostakovitch, Brahms’ Altrhapsodie, Mahler’s Symphonies no 2 and 8, songs by Berlioz and Wagner, and Messiaen’s Poèmes pour Mi.


Thomas MohrSinger Thomas Mohr received his training at the musical academy of Lübeck, where he gained his diploma and passed concert examination with distinction. While still a student, he won first prizes at s’Hertogenbosch, at the VDMK competition in Berlin and at the Walther Gruner competition in London. After contracts in Bremen and Mannheim, he joined the company of the Bonn opera and worked there with renowned directors, studying important baritone parts such as Silvio, Albert, di Luna, Lescaut and Germont père. Besides these, Mohr also scored successes as Eisenstein, Peter the broom-maker, Count Almaviva and Papageno. On the concert platform, his attention centred on Orff’s Carmina Burana, Brahms’ German Requiem, and Britten’s War Requiem.

Thomas Mohr has been a freelance singer since 1997. His widespread activities have led him to many of the most important concert halls and famous opera houses worldwide, where he worked with renowned conductors. Some years ago Thomas Mohr underwent a change in vocal category: in the 2005/6 season he made highly successful appearances as Idomeneo and as Siegmund in Robert Carsen’s Nibelung’s Ring, and April 2006 saw his much noted debut as Parsifal in Erfurt. Afterwards he made his debut as Max in new Freischütz productions at Cologne and St. Gallen, as Officer in Hindemith’s Cardillac at Dresden’s Semper Opera as well as Loge in Wagner’s Rheingold at the Leipzig Opera. This was followed by new productions Siegmund in Ring Halle Ludwigshafen, Parsifal at Malmö Opera and Poznan’s Opera. His concert activity included Mahler’s Lied von der Erde with the Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne and Beethoven’s Symphony no 9 with Sir Roger Norrington in Tokyo. Since the winter term of 2002/2003, he has been teaching singing as ordinary professor at the Bremen academy of the arts.


Dan KarlströmThe Finnish tenor Dan Karlström graduated from Business School at the Åbo Academy before starting his singing studies at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. Later on, he has been working with Prof. Herbert Brauer and attended master classes with Jaakko Ryhänen, Tom Krause, Irina Gavrilovic and Elisabeth Werres.

He joined the opera studio in 1996, performed various roles at the Skaala Chamber Opera and the Swedish Theatre in Helsinki, and held positions at Schillertheater in Gelsenkirchen and Staatstheater Darmstadt. In 2002, he became an ensemble member of the Leipzig Opera, where he appeared among others in La Traviata, Madame Butterfly, Parsifal, Le nozze di Figaro, Les contes d’Hoffmann, Die Zauberflöte, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Bluebeards Castle, Orphée aux enfers, Der Zigeunerbaron, Jesus Christ Superstar, La Rondine, and The mastersingers of Nuremberg.

Guest engagements in Germany took him to Wiesbaden, Erfurt, Münster, Weimar, Komische Oper Berlin, and Staatsoper Unter den Linden. In Finland, he appears regularly at the Savonlinna Opera Festival (in Faust, Tristan und Isolde, Les contes d’Hoffmann, and Carmen), and at the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki, including parts such as Tobias in Sweeny Todd, Pedrillo and Yonas in Adriana Mater.

Dan Karlström has worked with several renowned conductors as Marc Albrecht, Ralf Weikert, Asher Fisch and Mikko Franck and with directors as Peter Sellars, Claus Guth, Robert Carsen, Dietrich Hillsdorf and Francisco Negrin.

His repertoire as concert singer includes Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium, Händel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle, Orff’s Carmina Burana and Verdi’s Requiem. Furthermore, he worked on recordings for radio, television and CD.

 


Ralf LukasBass-baritone and first prize winner Ralf Lukas received his formal musical training at Hochschule der Künste Berlin with such teachers as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Aribert Reimann and Hans Hotter.

He has been a member of the ensemble at Deutsche Oper Berlin until 2002, where his roles included Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Donner in Das Rheingold, Biterolf in Tannhäuser, and Beckmesser in The Mastersingers of Nuremberg.

Subsequently, he went on singing with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, such as Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Chailly, Sir Colin Davis, Armin Jordan, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Sir Roger Norrington, Seiji Ozawa, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Giuseppe Sinopoli and Christian Thielemann.

Ralf Lukas was performing at different stages all over the world, including L’Opéra de Toulouse (Wolfram in Tannhäuser and Beckmesser in The Mastersingers of Nuremberg), Staatstheater Kassel (Amfortas in Parsifal), Staatstheater Wiesbaden (Wotan and Wanderer in The Ring of the Nibelung and the Flying Dutchman in Der fliegende Holländer), the New National Theatre Tokyo (Barak in Die Frau Ohne Schatten and Donner in Das Rheingold), and Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.

Also highly sought-after as a concert singer, with a stylistically wide repertoire, Ralf Lukas appears regularly at such major concert venues of the world as Berlin, Brussels, Hamburg, Madrid, Paris, Rome, Sao Paulo and Vienna, and participated at festivals of Montpellier, Lucerne, Rheingau, Schleswig-Holstein, the BBC London Proms, and Bayreuth Festival.

He took part in numerous radio and television recordings for ZDF, SFB, MDR, BR, Radio France, RAI and RTE. His work on CD recordings include Brahms’s Die schöne Magelone, Schönberg’s Gurrelieder, Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ and Benvenuto Cellini and Mendelssohn’s Elijah.