The Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra has a history dating back to pre-war years. It was re-activated in 1945 by the violinist and conductor Stefan Rachoń, whose successors have included Włodzimierz Kamirski, Jan Pruszak, and Mieczysław Nowakowski. During the tenure of Tadeusz Strugała (1990–93), the ensemble received its present name and moved to the brand-new Polish Radio Concert Studio named after Witold Lutosławski. From 1993 to 2006, the orchestra worked with musical director Wojciech Rajski, who was succeeded by Łukasz Borowicz in March 2007. The first CD with the new artistic director, featuring works by Schumann (with cellist Dominik Połoński), won the ‘Fryderyk’ Prize of the Polish recording industry in 2007. During the 2007/08 season, the orchestra gave concert performances of Verdi’s Falstaff and Cherubini’s Lodoïska (directed by Christa Ludwig, at the Beethoven Festival in Warsaw). Both works were released on CD by the Polish Radio’s own label; the Lodoïska album was nominated for the Midem Classical Award and the ‘Fryderyk’ Prize. It has become a tradition for the Polish Radio SO to open its seasons with concert performances of lesser-known and forgotten operas by Polish composers. These have included Roman Statkowski’s Maria, Stanisław Moniuszko’s Flis (to mark the 190th anniversary of the composer’s birth in 2009), Ignacy Feliks Dobrzyński’s Monbar or the Filibusters (the first performance of the opera in 150 years), Feliks Nowowiejski’s The Legend of the Baltic, and Zygmunt Noskowski’s Revenge for the Boundary Wall. Maria and Monbar or the Filibusters have been released on CD on the Polish Radio’s own label. The orchestra’s most recent recordings include Grażyna Bacewicz’s violin concertos (with Joanna Kurkowicz as soloist) for Chandos and her radio opera The Adventures of King Arthur on Polish Radio’s own label, to mark the centenary of the composer’s birth and the fortieth anniversary of her death. The orchestra has also given concert performances of Szymon Laks’s opera L’Hirondelle inattendue (the first Polish performance in the original French version) and Karol Rathaus’s ballet Le lion amoureux, both released as world premiere recordings on the eda records label. In collaboration with the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, the orchestra has continued its exploration of the lesser-known operatic repertoire with Louis Spohr’s Der Berggeist, Weber’s Euryanthe, Donizetti’s Maria Padilla, Italo Montemezzi’s L’amore dei tre re, and Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, all subsequently released on CD. The orchestra’s discography additionally includes a three-CD set with works by Andrzej Panufnik, under the baton of Łukasz Borowicz, issued in 2014 in honor of the hundredth anniversary of the composer’s birth. It is part of the complete recording of orchestral and concert music for the cpo label in cooperation with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and Deutschlandradio Kultur.
Komponist: Joachim Mendelson