Mark Nowakowski: Blood, Forgotten

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The people of Poland have lived through often impossible conditions over the last three centuries, and this album is Polish-American composer Mark Nowakowski’s tribute to their spirit of survival. Songs of Forgiveness is both a meditation on anger and grief and a lamentation on the stark realities of a society riven by tragedy. “Blood, Forgotten” is a multimedia memorial for the victims of Nazi and Soviet aggression during World War II, the electronic soundtrack using sounds from an instrument that survived one of the concentration camps. Partly written as a memorial for Henryk Gorecki, “Grandfather Songs also includes the surreal element of a recording of Nowakowski’s family singing the war song “Hej Ulani.” These deeply moving works are a highly personal tribute to the spirit of the people of Poland.
Item number 8559821
Barcode 636943982129
Release date 6/9/2017
Category Chamber Music
Number of units 1
Classical Artist Ondracek-Peterson, Emily
Classical Composer Nowakowski, Mark
Ensemble Voxare String Quartet
Disc: 1
String Quartet No. 1, "Songs of Forgiveness"00:18:00
1 String Quartet No. 1 "Songs of Forgiveness": I. Un 00:10:51 Voxare String Quartet
2 String Quartet No. 1 "Songs of Forgiveness": II. . 00:09:23 Voxare String Quartet
Blood, Forgotten00:11:46
3 Blood, Forgotten 00:11:32 Ondracek-Peterson, Emily Nowakowski, Mark
String Quartet No. 2, "Grandfather Songs"00:20:00
4 String Quartet No. 2 "Grandfather Songs" 00:19:35 Voxare String Quartet
A Usnijze mi, usnij (Lullaby: O Sleep for me, slee00:05:00
5 A Usnijze Mi, Usnij (O Sleep for Me, Sleep) 00:04:14 Voxare String Quartet
5 - Gramophone Review - Critic Review - 7/1/2017
"The intense emotional worlds the music of Mark Nowakowski inhabits pay tribute to the struggles and enduring spirit of the Polish people. Each of the four works on this disc probes dark corners, allowing us to enter into private worlds in which despair, anger and hope are conveyed in striking terms. The Polish-American composer evokes dramatic and psychological atmospheres as if Bartók and Shostakovich were looking over his shoulder, but with his own sense of urgency, rhythm and colour. Two string quartets demonstrate Nowakowski’s skill at plumbing the depths of feeling. In two movements, String Quartet No 1, Songs of Forgiveness, touches upon despair and death through interweaving lines of unflinching passion. The writing is at once fierce, haunting and mystical. Nowakowski employs audio clips and celebrates a noted Polish composer in the equally riveting String Quartet No 2, Grandfather Songs, in memory of Henryk Górecki. Although the videos that are part of Blood, Forgotten can’t be experienced on this recording, the piece nevertheless makes a gripping impression as performed by violinist Emily Ondracek-Peterson with the electronically engineered violin lines played on an instrument that once resided in a concentration camp. It is followed by the short ‘A usnijze mi, usnij’ (‘O sleep for me, sleep’), a traditional lullaby Nowakowski shaped into a song of consoling beauty. The performances, vivid and articulate, seize the attention. Ondracek-Peterson and her colleagues in the Voxare Quartet are piercingly alert to the expressive needs of Nowakowski’s bold and empathetic art." - David Rosenberg (Gramophone)
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