LIPINSKI: Overture in D Major; Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Major, Op. 21; Symphony in B-flat Major, Op. 2, No. 3 – Domenika Falgar, violin/ Henry Wieniawski Lublin Philharmonic/ Piotr Wijatkowski conductor – Dux

by | Jan 28, 2006 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

LIPINSKI: Overture in D Major; Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Major, Op. 21; Symphony in B-flat Major, Op. 2, No. 3 – Domenika Falgar, violin/ Henry Wieniawski Lublin Philharmonic/ Piotr Wijatkowski conductor – Dux 0432,  70:40 (Distrib. Qualiton) ****:

Karol Lipinski (1790-1861) and the city of Lublin are associated with the evolution of the Polish virtuoso violin tradition: their convergence produced students like Joseph Joachim and Henryk Wieniawski, each of whom went on to spread the violin gospel to Berlin, Belgium, and Russia. After early studies with his kapellmeister father, the precocious Lipinski continued his studies with Spohr, Salieri, and Paganini. His approach anticipated the modern sensibility that the virtuoso is for the music, and great technique not a means to self-glorifying ends. Conceiving works for his own use, Lipinski penned some thirty polonaises, the national dance of his country, immortalized by Chopin.

The D Major Concerto (1825-1836) is constructed as a cross between the styles of Viotti and Paganini, with the opening tuttis building up its texture like a Rossini overture.  The solo part is rife with huge stretches, double stops, harmonics, and a martial gait that has earned the concerto the epithet “Military Concerto.” The abundance of themes, however, becomes top-heavy, and the piece often “devolves” into a concert-fantasy, with little tufts of material which owe something to Viotti”s famous A Minor Concerto. The minor-key Adagio utilizes Polish folk song in a way akin to Chopin in his Krakowiak Concert Rondo. The air of the rustic countryside is quite pronounced.  If I did not know the composer, I would venture Spohr as the creator of this long-spun operatic scene. The last bars anticipate Wieniasski’s own F Sharp Minor Concerto. The final movement is a rondo with more declamatory passages which announce the violin’s perky gait, reminiscent of the Schubert polonaises written for his brother Ferdinand. Then, the Paganinian pyrotechnics kick in, as well as the sweet, melodic, legato effects. Allusions to Viotti and Paganini carry us to the thumping final pages, with quick shifts in the violin registration leading to a rousing , carousing finale.

The two orchestral works, the Overture in D Major (1813) and the B-flat Symphony (c. 1807), each begin with a slow, Haydnesque introduction followed by a sonata-allegro. If someone claimed the pieces were by Cherubini or members from the Czech musical community contemporary with Mozart, I would not debate the point.  Clever wind writing marks the first, energized movement of the B-flat Symphony – shades of Reicha and his ilk. The second movement sings elegiac ally, and the Menuet evidences traces of rustic laendler elements. The finale, vivace, sounds a cross between Haydn and  Schubert, with a decided hunt modality. The Overture vacillates among fanfare motifs and dance figures, each arguing for Lipinski’s optimistic, extroverted nature, a facile, gregarious spirit. Violinist Falgar packs a sweet, congenial tone and plenty of bravura when she needs it, and the orchestral back-up is first rate. A nice find of generous spirits.

— Gary Lemco

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