Chamber Orchestra of the City of Tychy = BACEWICZ: Concerto for String Orchestra; PENDERECKI: Concerto for Cello (viola) and Chamber Orchestra; KANCHELI: Valse Boston for Piano and Strings -Soloists /Chamber Orch. of Tychy – AUKSO/Marek Mos – BeArTon

by | Mar 11, 2009 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

Chamber Orchestra of the City of Tychy = BACEWICZ: Concerto for String Orchestra; PENDERECKI: Concerto for Cello (viola) and Chamber Orchestra;  KANCHELI: Valse Boston for Piano and Strings – Andrzej Bauer (cello)/ Janusz Olejniczak (piano) /Chamber Orchestra of the City of Tychy – AUKSO /Marek Mos – BeArTon multichannel SACD CDB044 [], 54:09 *****:

AUKSO, the Chamber Orchestra of the City of Tychy was founded in 1998 by the conductor, Marek Mos and a group of musicians from the Karol Szymanowski Music Academy in Katowice, and judging from the centre spread photograph in the excellent booklet, the orchestra is still young at heart as well as in years. The booklet refers to music of the 20th and 21st centuries of which there is none of the latter; perhaps this is the first of a series, and judging from the results, I do hope so.

Grazyna Bacewicz’s Concerto for String Orchestra, written in 1948, has already appeared on several excellent recordings, not least the superb issue on 2L; the tempi here are a mite swifter and the orchestra presented in concert perspective rather than surrounding the listener. This is very approachable music, neo-classical alternating between concerto grosso and sonata allegro forms, and played here with affection and virtuosity.

Krysztof Penderewski’s concerto started life as a viola concerto in 1983, and since then has appeared in another five different forms, this one being for ‘cello and chamber orchestra. The forces include strings, a variety of percussion and celesta, and these produce some beautiful textures. In a single movement the work evolves from a simple seed which changes shape and form returning to the original thoughts at the end. Bauer is well balanced, a little to the fore, and the recording brings out a very life-like cello sound.

Giya Kancheli’s Valse Boston was dedicated “to my wife with whom I’ve never danced.” He writes: “If you can imagine a flower that makes its way through asphalt, that’s exactly what you find in my compositions. In my works I’m always trying to get the flower through the asphalt.” This has been compulsive listening for many weeks, such is its hypnotic quality, and its variety in tonal and modal writing, and its references to various periods, genres and folk music. Olejniczak is a fine pianist and his instrument is expertly recorded.

BeArTon recorded this programme in the Concert Hall of the Katowice Music Academy, a hall – by the sounds on this recording – with very fine acoustics, and the results on this superb SACD are excellent in both surround and in stereo. The deluxe booklet has very full notes about the music and the performers by several hands, and excellent photographs, but a couple of unfortunate typos. Despite a somewhat short playing time, this release receives my highest recommendation.

— Peter Joelson

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