Magazine article Gramophone

'Polish Violin Concertos'

Magazine article Gramophone

'Polish Violin Concertos'

Article excerpt

'Polish Violin Concertos'

Bacewicz Violin Concerto No 1 Panufnik Violin Concerto3 Spisak Andante and Allegro Tansman Five Pieces Piotr Plawner vn Berlin Chamber Symphony Orchestra / Jurgen Bruns Naxos (B) 8 573496 (56' * DDD) (a) Recorded live at the Usedom Festival, Kaisersaal Hotel Maritim, Heringsdorf, October 3 & 4, 2014

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It says something when the most familiar piece on a disc is Andrzej Panufnik's Violin Concerto. In fact these four works all deserve to be better-known; and that includes the Panufnik. Like everything here, it receives lively and committed advocacy from Piotr Plawner and the Kammersymphonie Berlin under Jurgen Bruns; unlike everything else, it's up against formidable recorded competition, not least from an impassioned Alexander Sitkovetsky on CPO and the work's dedicatee Yehudi Menuhin, conducted by the composer. A case of the best being the enemy of the good.

But the first of Grazyna Bacewicz's seven violin concertos is less readily available, and if Plawner is a less glamorous proposition, tonally, than Joanna Kurkowicz on Chandos, I liked Bruns's brisk approach to Bacewicz's neoclassical forms; there's both wit and colour (listen to the way the bassoon burbles quietly away at 0'40" in the finale). …

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