The Wrocław Philharmonic Choir was founded in 2006 by Andrzej Kosendiak and since its inception functions under the directorship of Agnieszka Frankow-Żelazny. In a short space of time it has established itself as one of Poland’s leading choral ensembles, thanks to its rich and varied repertoire, which includes works from the Renaissance to the contemporary, and a cappella to vocal-instrumental in the form of oratorio, opera, and the symphony. It has collaborated with such distinguished conductors as Paul McCreesh, Jacek Kaspszyk, Krzysztof Penderecki, James MacMillan, Łukasz Borowicz, Mike Brewer, Bob Chilcott, and Jan Łukaszewski.
In recent years the Choir has participated in many important projects, collaborating among others with the Gabrieli Consort and NDR Orchestra in performances at the Salle Pleyel in Paris and the Barbican Centre in London as well as the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and Gent Festival van Vlaanderen. In 2009 it was the first Polish choir to be invited to the legendary BBC Proms at London’s Royal Albert Hall for a performance of Joseph Haydn’s The Creation. This was followed by a further invitation in 2011 when the Choir joined forces with the Gabrieli Consort and singers of such stature as Simon Keenleyside in a presentation of Felix Mendelssohn’s Elijah. The same year it made its debut at Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, while at the Varaždin Baroque Evenings festival in Croatia it received one of the three main awards – the Kantor Award for exceptional performance of works by Johann Sebastian Bach. In Poland the Wrocław Philharmonic Choir performs in concert with, among others, the Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra, Wrocław Baroque Orchestra, Wrocław Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum, National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the other Philharmonic Orchestras in Poland, and Wrocław Opera. Each year it also appears at the International Wratislavia Cantans Festival.
The ensemble has participated in recordings of Franz Xaver Richter’s compositions under the baton of Andrzej Kosendiak (2009), Hanna Kulenty’s Music 4 album with Wrocław Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum under Ernst Kovacic (2011), Hector Berlioz’s monumental Grande Messe des Morts (2011) and Mendelssohn’s Elijah (2012) – both under Paul McCreesh. The choir’s first own a cappella album, Words Painted with Sounds, and a CD with Bob Chilcott’s music The Seeds of Stars were released in 2012.
"The preparation of the Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny’s Choir was excellent; the choir carried out its musical task perfectly."
"Fortified by additional singers from the Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir, excellent Gabrieli Consort and Players had extra punch."
"The composer’s abandonment of opera in favour of the expressive possibilities of choral singing was well served by a large chorus comprising the combined forces of the Gabrieli Consort and the Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir […] the size and resonance of the voices thrillingly filled the auditorium at the big moments."
"Afterwards, all the choruses were fully convincing – dramatic, with clarity in polyphony and with layered shades of dynamics – in Parts Two and Three of the oratorio. Evidently it took two choral numbers for the combined Gabrieli Consort and Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir to settle."
"McCreesh also supplemented the Gabrieli Consort with fourteen singers from Poland's Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir, which gave the chorus a more flavoursome (and slightly less English) sound. Though the four voice sections blended well, each also possessed its own unique qualities. The sopranos' top notes were superbly rounded, whilst the altos produced a highly textured sound. The tenors possessed a quiet understated strength, their voices burning with passion from within, whilst the basses were cool, calm and reflective."
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