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Zygmunt Stojowski - Prayer for Poland (Modlitwa za Polskę), Op. 49 (1915)

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Published on May 21, 2012

Prayer for Poland (Modlitwa za Polskę), Op. 49 - Cantata for soprano, baritone, mixed choir, orchestra and organ (1915)

A cantata by Polish composer Zygmunt Stojowski (1870-1946), written during the First World War. The text of the cantata expresses the hope that the Virgin Mary will "end ... for Poland her deep anguish"; this anguish refers to the suffering of the Polish people under the numerous partitions and conquests of Poland by imperial powers such as Russia and Austria-Hungary. The text was written by the 19th century Romantic poet Zygmunt Krasiński, one of Poland's Three National Bards, whose works raised the political consciousness of Poles during a time when their homeland was absent from the map of the world. Krasiński's dramas, plays and poems put forth a Messianic vision of Poland in world history and express the wish for national self-determination.


Text:

CHORUS
Thou Queen of Poland, thou Queen of the Angels.
Thou who beneath the deepest woe didst languish.
When thy Son to earth's dark valley descended,
End thou for bleeding Poland her deep anguish!
Thou Queen of Poland, thou Queen of Angels,
Let thy love's rainbow o'er her head be bending.
Her hands unloosen from the doomsman's scaffold:
Be thou her angel now and time unending!

SOPRANO SOLO
Thou Queen of Poland, thou Queen of the angels.
Stainless white lily, bright star of our morrow,
Seven times wounded with the sword of sorrow,
Like to lead boiling was the pain within thee.

CHORUS
Thorns, and the cross, and the driven nails thou knowest.
Thou knowest the blood and tears from Him descending.
And how the pangs of that hurt have no measure:
Be thou our angel now and time unending!

BARITONE SOLO
Thou Queen of Poland, thou Queen of the Angels,
Likewise thou knowest with what ardor glowed He.
When crucified, risen unto Heaven stood He:
Hurl us not into hell's infernal meshes.

CHORUS
Weapons immortal 'gainst death us defending,
Show unto death that death's power now is no longer:
Bring us, O Ladyl Our resurrection's glory!
Be thou our angel now and time unending!
Thou Queen of Poland, thou Queen of the Angels.
This world is shattered, shattered into pieces!
No single one of its rent and ruptured fragments
Prays any more unto thee, O heavenly Virgin!
We, only we now, burning at the scaffold,
Forth into boundless space our prayers are sending:
Thou'lt know thy subjects by their invocation:
Be thou our angel now and time unending!


Soprano: Marta Wróblewska
Baritone: Maciej Bogumił Nerkowski
Organ: Rafał Sulima
Conductor: Marcin Nałęcz-Niesiołowski
Assistant Conductor: Maja Metelska
Chorus Director: Violetta Bielecka
The Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra in Białystok

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