American Record Guide Vol.74, no 5 Gil French


"...The concluding June 19 concert of Symphony No. 8 was unquestionably the high point of the festival that began May 10. With the audience facing the rear of the cathedrallike St Catherine’s Church in Cracow’s Kazimierz (Jewish) quarter, Przytocki had the magnificent Cracow and Czech Philharmonic Choirs (165 singers) facing each other in stalls left and right, with the Cracow Philharmonic Boys’, Leipzig MDR Children’s, and Puellae Orantes Girl’s Cathedral Choir (120 total) across the back facing him from under the choir loft where the organist and seven brass players were found. In front of the Cracow Philharmonic (expanded from 100 to 120) were the seven soloists, each so tonally rich and warm, broadly dynamic yet never strained, free of uncontrolled vibrato, and perfectly blended that they deserve listing..." "...Wide-screen monitors hidden behind massive pillars aided the coordination, but what clinched it was Przytocki’s total intellectual grasp of the score’s form, his attention to fine orchestral details otherwise easily lost in the resonant acoustics, his Gergiev-like awareness and eye-contact with each group, and, above all, his flexible forward thrust and tight rhythmic pulse. It took only about two minutes for ensemble to solidify. By the ends of both the ‘Veni, Creator Spiritus’ and Faust sections, the emotional effect was quite shattering, as I learned how to breathe again..."