One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,514 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                     Editor in Chief: John Quinn              

Some items
to consider


paid for


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

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

Deaconoff; Stockhausen

Live at the Clifton Festival

Choir at Clifton Cathedral


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

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


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

Wladyslaw ZELENSKI (1837-1921)
Songs, Duets …
Marta Trybulec (soprano) (1-3, 7- 9, 12, 13, 16, 20, 21), Witold Wrona (tenor) (4-7, 10, 11, 14, 15, 19-21), Wiktoria Zawistowska (mezzo-soprano) (21)
Elzbieta Konopczak (piano)
rec. Sala koncerttowa Panstwowej szokoly Muzyczne Wadowicach, 2016
Polish texts printed in booklet but no translations
World Premiere Recording

Wladyslaw Zelenski was born in Grodkowice in the estate belonging to the family since the 17th century. His father died when he was nine and his mother moved with him and his siblings to Krakow, where he had his musical education. After graduating from middle school in 1857 he moved to Prague and continued studies in philosophy, receiving a PhD. After studies in music in Paris he settled in Warsaw and married in 1872. He composed and conducted his works and also taught harmony at the Music Institute and also became Artistic Director of the Warsaw Music Society. He later returned to Krakow and was instrumental in creating the Music Academy.

His musical legacy is quite large: nearly 100 songs, 4 operas, 9 cantatas, more than 20 pieces for choir a cappella and with accompaniment, 18 orchestral works (including 2 symphonies), organ works, chamber music works, piano works etc. Many of his works have unfortunately been lost. The most precious part of his oeuvre is, however, the songs, composed throughout his entire life. On the present disc are 21 of them, and there is a clear sense of folk music about them, melodious and with well-conceived accompaniments. There is a definitive draw-back for non-Polish listeners that there are no translations of the texts, so what one can do is listening to the music and try to create an image of what the songs are about – or just enjoy them as vocalises, which hardly was what the composer had in mind. Anyway I found several of them very enjoyable, and since they are first-time recordings there is a special thrill in walking untrodden paths.

If you have the same inclination I recommend you first try Siedzi ptaszek na drzwie (tr. 6) which, according to Google’s translation service, is about a bird sitting in a tree. It has a catchy tune and with a little imagination you may hear him singing. Then go to Mloda zaswatana (tr. 8), which I wasn’t able to find out what it is about – something/someone young and shaggy? – but it is a beautiful melody. Laskawa dziewczyna (tr. 9) is really charming and it is about a girl of some kind. Czarnobrywka (tr. 14) is a dramatic and intense song with hefty accompaniment, while the light and charming O piesni moje (tr. 18) is about a dog. Barkarola (tr. 20) is self-explanatory and it is a duet and the final number Dobra noc, a trio, is simply a good night song – very well sung.

Otherwise it is the singing per se that is the most serious hang-up. Marta Trybulec has a basically beautiful soprano voice and she nuances well, but she tends to be bitterly shrill at the top of her voice and some numbers are rather painful to hear. Her tenor partner Witold Wrona has primarily been singing operetta, and the singing here is not very subtle. Moreover he pushes his voice quite crudely at times.

Still it is valuable to have these songs recorded and Acte Préalable should be applauded for their ambitions to make these songs known to a wider audience.

Göran Forsling

1. Co bym ci chciala dac Op. 25 No 6 [2:58]
2. Zazulka, Op. 10 No. 1 [1:30]
3. Opuszczona, Op. 10 No. 3 [1:56]
4. Roza dzika [2:59]
5. Robaczek kochal sie w rozy [1:43]
6. Siedzi ptaszek na drzewie [1:54]
7. Tedy, tedy lecial ptaszek Op. 4 [3:16]
8. Mloda zaswatana, Op. 19 No. 1 [3:35]
9. Laskawa dziewczyna, Op. 25 No. 5 [2:23]
10. Jaskolka, Op. 19 No. 2 [1:48]
11. Dzikie sny, Op. 24 [2:15]
12. Teschnota, Op. 25 No. 3 [2:40]
13. Wspomnienie, Op. 8 No. 3 [4:36]
14. Czarnobrywka, Op. 7 No. 1 [2:03]
15. Czy aniolek, czy diabelek [2:37]
16. Zakochana, Op. 7 No. 2 [2:16]
17. Z lak i pol [3:26]
18. O piesni moje [2:20]
19. Nocna jazda [2:34]
20. Barkarola [4:51]
21. Dobra noc [3:52]



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3



Aho Symphony 5

Dowland - A Fancy


Rachmaninov_ Babayan