MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

and more.. and still writing ...

MusicWeb - "A Beacon of Probity and Integrity" - Ralph Moore

Search MusicWeb Here


Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer

International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews



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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom


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
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

June 2022

Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32

Orchestral Works

String Quartets Vol 1


Cantatas and Organ Works

Complete Songs

Ralph Vaughan Williams

Simone Dinnerstein piano