relations and reviews

Contemporary Polish opera in extreme technology

PWMPWM Edition has released three items in the "Images" series under its record label ANAKLASIS, which is aimed at presenting the most important stage works of recent years.

The first releases are Aleksander Nowak's Ahat-ilī  Sister of the Gods (ANA 001 AV), Agata Zubel's Bildbeschreibung (ANA 002 AV) and Andrzej Krzanowski's Audycja V (ANA 003 AV), the premieres of which were important cultural events at festivals such as the "Warsaw Autumn" or "Sacrum profanum". This new project by PWM is special, because each recording of an opera performance is accompanied by a documentary film about the composer, made in cooperation with Polish Television. There are more partners collaborating with PWM in the production of these materials, including the Polish Composers' Union. I would like to pay particular attention to the recording of Andrzej Krzanowski's Audycja V, which received a proper premiere only forty-one years after its composition, and two years later was released on CDs (which meets the criterion of presenting "the most important stage works of recent years"). Regardless, it has not lost its freshness.

This valuable PWM initiative, a real rarity not only for connoisseurs of contemporary music, but also for ordinary music lovers, has one serious limitation. All three items were recorded on blu-ray discs. Blu-ray technology, providing higher recording and playback quality as well as significantly greater disc capacity, was to replace the DVD format. Meanwhile, a dozen or so years after the market launch, blu-ray discs that require special players to record and play back music using lasers that generate blue light, or rather violet light (CDs are recorded with infrared light, and DVDs with red light), remain quite a rare commodity. It is worth adding that at the beginning of the 90s of the last century, a technology for obtaining gallium nitride crystals of very high structural quality was developed at the Institute of High Pressure Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, thanks to which ten years later in Japan the production of blue lasers used in the blu-ray format was mastered. Moreover, the market development of blu-ray discs remains in doubt in view of the dynamic increase in sales of films and music via the Internet. The fate of the CD leaves no doubt here.

Nevertheless, three albums from the "Images" series by PWM's ANAKLASIS will be a real treat for musical owners of blu-ray players.

Mieczysław Kominek