One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider
  • Brahms Symphony 4 Dvorak Symphony 9
  • Peter Aronsky (piano) Les Délices du Piano
  • IL Carnevale di Venezia Clarinet with orchestra
  • Sinfonie Concertanti
  • IL Carnevale di Venezia Clarinet with orchestra
  • Peter Aronsky (piano) Les Délices du Piano

Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!

Nothing but Praise

BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set

Telemann continues to amaze

A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition

Another Bacewicz winner

match any I’ve heard

An outstanding centenary collection

personable, tuneful, approachable

a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.

music that will be new to most people

telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded

hitherto unrecorded Latvian music


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing
this through MusicWeb
for £13.50 postage paid world-wide.

Jósef Michał PONIATOWSKI (1816-1873)
Mass in F major (Kyrie [6.13]; Gloria [12.45]; Credo [11.49]; Sanctus [3.20]; O Salutaris [5.16]; Agnus Dei [6.36]; Amen [2.49])
Barbara Lewicka Wójcik (soprano); Donata Zuliani (mezzo); Mateusz Kołos (tenor); Robert Kaczorowski (bass); Michał Kaleta (organ)
Zespół Wokalny Wydziału Wokalno-Aktorskiego Akademii Muzyczney w Gdańsku/Przemysław Stanisławski
rec. Resurrection Church, Gdańsk Wrzeszcz, 5-6 May 2015

Poniatowski is not a well-known name, and this recording is an interesting addition to Acte Préalable’s Sacred Music series.

The composer was an aristocrat, a prince related to Stanisław August Poniatowski, who was King of Poland 1764-1795, and a noted patron of the arts. The Poniatowski of this recording was a diplomat and politician, born in Rome and who died in London. He is buried in Chislehurst, close to Napoleon III, whom he served in later life. On the evidence of this Mass, he was more than a gifted amateur musician. In his lifetime, he was known for his tenor voice.

As a composer, his reputation rested on a series of operas, performed mainly in France and Italy. They were once very popular but today are neglected. I have been unable to find any evidence of other recordings of his work. The score for this Mass was found on the shelves of the library at Yale.

The Mass is unusual in having two additional movements, beyond the usual 5, an O Salutaris, and a final Amen. The former is a hymn, by St. Thomas Aquinas, usually sung at the service of Benediction, but occasionally sung as a Eucharistic song by the congregation, at least in past times. Here only a few words are used, not the entire hymn. The Amen is odder. The Mass, either in the Tridentine or more recent forms, does not end with ‘Amen’ — the Great ‘Amen’ follows the Canon of the mass, liturgically — but Poniatowski uses it as a conclusion. There is a musical, if not liturgical, logic to this.

The Mass is scored for four soloists, organ and SATB choir. The choir used here is a student body of 28 voices, from the Singing and Acting Faculty of the Academy of Music in Gdańsk.

The music has distinct echoes of Rossini, but has greater solemnity than some of the latter’s liturgical pieces, such as his Stabat Mater. The influence is felt rather in the subtle blend of solo voices as well as a certain lightness and transparency of texture.

The music is well-made, not technically adventurous, but attractive and devout. The recording is clear and the performances committed. Robert Kaczorowski, the bass, who also wrote the informative notes — he combines a singing career with his work as a priest and musicologist — has a fine voice, and is one of an able team of soloists.

At under 50 minutes, this disc is short by modern standards, but apparently no other work of Poniatowski was suitable as a filler. Nevertheless, this music has more than simply patriotic interest.

Michael Wilkinson



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger