Performers: Il Canto [Barbara Janowska, Wanda Laddy (soprano); Robert Lawaty (countertenor); Krzysztof Szmyt (tenor, 6-11); Cezary Szyfman (baritone); Michal Straszewski (bass); Jaroslaw Malanowicz (organ, 6-11)].
Playing time: 50'32
Recording date: 1-13, 1992; 14-18, 1993
This CD presents major works by three early Polish composers, all of whom are little known today. Leopolita (?-1589) wrote in the high Renaissance style as court composer to King Sigismund August. Mielczewski (1600-1651) wrote his mass in a more Baroque idiom, basing it on his own setting of the hymn that precedes it. Gorczycki (1665-1734) was a truly remarkable composer. Growing up in a period in which Poland came under increasing Russian domination and the arts in general began to be less cultivated than formerly, he rose to such a position of musical and ecclesiastical prominence that he was hailed as "pearl of the clergy" by many. He was very concerned to preserve the purity of church music, and so wrote mainly in the stilo antico in spite of the period in which he lived. Nevertheless, Baroque, concertante-style works by him do survive.
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