“Polish Spirit” – EMIL MLYNARSKI: Violin Concerto No. 2 in D; MIECZYSLAW KARLOWICZ: Violin Concerto in A, CHOPIN-Arr. by KRZESIMIR DEBSKI: Nocturne No. 1: Larghetto, Nocturne No. 2: Andante – Nigel Kennedy, violin/Polish Ch. Orch./Jacek Kaspszyk – EMI

by | Nov 16, 2007 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

“Polish Spirit” – EMIL MLYNARSKI: Violin Concerto No. 2 in D; MIECZYSLAW KARLOWICZ: Violin Concerto in A Op. 8, CHOPIN-Arr. by KRZESIMIR DEBSKI: Nocturne Op. 9 No. 1: Larghetto, Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2: Andante – Nigel Kennedy, violin/Polish Chamber Orchestra/ Jacek Kaspszyk – EMI 3 79934 2, 71:27 ****

A very apt title for this CD.  The two concertos certainly have plenty of that Polish spirit, and Kennedy’s performances fit right into the recent trend of “violinists with guts,” such as Nadia Sallerno-Sonnenberg, Giullano Carmignola and Gilles Apap.  The setting is one in which the award-winning violinist deeply pursued Polish musical history, and lived for a time in Warsaw with his Polish wife. The highly individualistic Kennedy dug up the Mylnarski concerto and campaigned to record it. The composer was director of the Warsaw Opera and directed festivals of Polish Music in Paris; he died in 1935.  The work makes a perfect disc mate for the more familiar Karlowsicz concerto, for which Kennedy pulls out all the stops. (Whew –  am I glad I don’t have to properly pronounce this stuff on the air anymore!)

Both concertos are full of Romantic period devices and most convincingly delivered by Kennedy and the Polish players.  Sonics are especially rich and involving. Both works are electric performances which cannot fail to captivate the listener. The two melodic Chopin Nocturne arrangements are sort of the “cool-down period” of the ample-length concert.

 – John Sunier
 

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