for chorus and chamber orchestra
chorus (SATB), solo tenor; flute (doubling), oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, celesta, harp, 5perc, strings (4,4,3,4,2)
Year of composition:
BBC Singers, London Chamber Symphony / conducted by Odaline de la Martinez
Maida Vale Studios, London,
24 November 1995 (studio recording),
for broadcast on BBC Radio 3 (Hear & Now), 9 February 1996
Echoing the design of a baroque cantata, Nova Polska consists of a prelude and fugato, a lullaby, a song, a recitative for chorus, an arioso for solo tenor and chorus, and a closing chorale.
Caroline Smith commented that
[her] narrative poem records the changing nature of Poland’s history in the 20th Century through the life of a Polish doctor … Silhouetted above the ancient capital of Poland is a sleeping soldier prince, turned into a mountain long ago. Tradition tells that he will wake to the sound of the castle bell in his country’s hour of need.