Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Panufnik, Andrzej. (1914-1991) Orchestral Works. Volume VII,

From my collection.
Bought in August 2015.
First listen: 20-8-2015.
Second listen: 16-9-2015.
Third listen: 9-11-2016.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: October/November 2012,  January 2013 & June 2009.
Recording venues: Konzerthaus Berlin, Polish Radio, Warsaw, Polish Radio W. Lutoslawski Concert Studio.
Recording engineers:  Not mentioned.
Running time: 67:37.
Classical relevance: As far as Panufnik goes: Essential.

Works performed:

Symphony No. 5. (Sinfonia di Sfere) in 9 movements.
Bassoon Concerto, in 5 movements.
Love Song.

Performed by:

Michael von Schönermark, Bassoon.
Konzerthausorchester Berlin.
Polish Radio SO, both conducted by, Lukasz Borowicz.

It was well worth the wait for this seventh volume, for what's on offer is some of the best bits Panufnik composed. I am a huge admirer of this composer, and he ranks among my top composers from the 20th century. The Fifth Symphony is one of contemplation and serenity. In an utmost attempt to get an internal balance that lifts the work from the ground, Borowicz makes this work. He has such a sense for the proper dynamics and an inbred feeling for proportion as a whole, overseeing the music in a whole way, never missing a beat or note or detail. Very impressive.

The Bassoon concerto is a firm favourite of mine. The movement called Aria is the finest I ever heard from this period, such concentration, all emotion condensed in a single movement, grips you at you throat, very impressive. Its lyrical, harmonious, actually a sort of a tone poem, intense and utterly rewarding in its expression. The Love song is beautiful, mind you I did not expect that, but it is. Just a pity that the Mezzo Sarah van der Kemp is a mismatch. Her voice is unsteady, shrill at times, and really not enough body to sustain the concentrated energy in this work, despite some fine moments But the composition is gorgeous.
Landscape is an evocation, a revelation, earth in perfect harmony. Again the concentrated energy, in muted style, but so powerful.
The sound is state of the art, and the performance leaves nothing to wish for, well apart from one mishap, but that only lasts 4 minutes.

My playlist for 25-4-2018.

If by any chance you might be interested in my thoughts or feelings about the recordings of today, please let me know, and I will provide ad...