Listen to a Sample:
Karol Szymanowski’s mystical, heavily symbolic masterpiece is given a thrilling performance lead by Charles Mackerras, who draws virulent emotions from the murky depths of the score. Peter Knapp is a firm-voiced, beautifully-polished Roger, the medieval king whose kingdom falls under the sway of a mysterious, messianic shepherd, sung by Henry Howell. Janet Gail, as Roger’s wife, Roxana, delivers the goods in a high-lying role, although her diction is often mushy. The choral forces are extremely powerful, and the sound of this 1975 radio broadcast is excellent.