Thomas F. Dillingham | Columbia, Missouri USA | 07/26/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As my comments on the recent Rattle/Hampson recording of this opera have indicated, I have been delighted by the discovery of "King Roger," an opera I had not heard before a few weeks ago. I was curious to hear another performance, and so acquired this recording and have only increased my enthusiasm for the work. This performance features more robust and assertive performances by the singers and a somewhat more driving style from the conductor. Where Rattle's performance is elegant and sumptuous, conductor Karol Stryja creates an intense dramatic atmosphere that has a rougher but still powerful quality. The singers are all strong, though the voices would not be characterized as conventionally beautiful. Barbara Zagorzanka's Roxana is more powerful than Szmytka on the Rattle set, but her voice gets wiry and tense in the upper register. Both Andrzej Hiolski's King Roger and Henryk Grychnik's Edrisi are strongly sung and acted. The role of the Shepherd is the weak link on this recording, as is the case on the Rattle--it seems to be a very demanding role and needs a tenor who combines lyric qualities with the power of a heldentenor. The orchestra and chorus are very fine, but not as consistently powerful as Rattle's forces. Overall, this recording can be strongly recommended, if only because it is so inexpensive and makes available a wonderful opera at a very reasonable price."
Allan J. Cronin | Alameda, CA | 06/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I picked up this little known opera by this early 20th Century Polish composer out of curiosity. What a discovery!!! This is a true bargain, a nicely priced recording of a beautiful opera in a fine performance and recording. As soon as I heard the opening chorus I was hooked. This work deserves to be better known and would play well on any major opera stage in the world. This is a lush, exotic, tuneful piece of music. Don't hesititate to shell out the relatively few dollars for this record. You will not regret your purchase."