Traditionally another album of Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra was nominated for the Fryderyk award. This time it’s Faniska by Luigi Cherubini, nominated for the Fryderyk 2022 award in the category Album of the Year – Oratorio and Opera Music.
Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra recorded it along with Natalia Rubiś (soprano), Krystian Adam Krzeszowiak (tenor), Katarzyna Belkius (soprano), Robert Gierlach (bass-baritone), Tomasz Rak (baritone), Justyna Ołów (mezzosoprano), Piotr Kalina (tenor) and Poznan Chamber Choir prepared by Bartosz Michałowski. The performance was led by Łukasz Borowicz.
Cherubini’s opera (with the libretto by Joseph Sonnleithner) was commissioned by the management of the Viennese Hofoper in spring 1805. The premiere performance took place in Kärntnertortheater in Vien-na on the 25th of February 1806 in the presence of the Emperor Franz II. The work fascinated Ludwig van Beethoven so much that he decided to create an opera too, and he did write one – Fidelio.
The opera is set in Poland, in one of the magnate castles near Sandomierz. Two main characters – Zamoski and Rasinski – are divided rulers of neighbouring provinces and the main theme concerns the attempt to release Faniska, Rasinski’s wife, who is held in custody by Zamoski in his castle’s dungeons. Everything leads to a happy ending.
The double album, which is a world phonographic premiere in the discography of Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra, was released in December 2020 by the DUX label. In October 2020 the concert version of the Faniska opera was performed in the Warsaw Philharmonic, at the 24. Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, which was had been put off to autumn due to pandemic.