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Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937)
Violin and Piano Works

Violin Sonata Op. 9 (1904)
Romance Op. 23 (1910)
Nocturne and Tarantella Op. 28 (1915)
Mity, trzy poematy Op. 30 (1915)
Kołysanka (La Berceuse d’Aitacho Enia)
Piotr Pławner (violin)

Waldemar Malicki (piano)
Rec. Pomeranian Philharmonic Concert Hall, Bydgoszcz, Poland, February 1997
DUX 0287 [67.48]

Dux draws upon two fine soloists and chamber partners, the young Piotr Pławner and the experienced pianist Waldemar Malicki, for a conspectus of Szymanowski’s works for violin and piano. One of the features of the repertoire is the way in which it has attained an increasingly strong place in the currency of international musicians. Pławner plays through the Brahmsian rhetoric of the first movement of the early Sonata, written when the composer was twenty-two, with expressive warmth that borders on the over-emotive. The wideness of his vibrato can sometimes spill over – but there is also a generous inflection to his phrasing – as well as a lightness and evenness that is attractive. He and Malicki find the right sense of stormy fantasy for the robust finale.

His hyper-romantic rubati and finger intensity inflame the Romance showing a keen appreciation of period expressive devices; despite its name this is a piece that knows drive as much as relaxation. In the Nocturne and Tarantella he is less theatrical and overt than Ida Haendel preferring instead a more inward and introspective and consonant performance. The Three Myths receive a good traversal; La Fontaine d’Aréthuse has finely judged portamenti though it’s less cutting than Haendel and Ashkenazy whilst the Dryads and Pan evinces a fine silken tone and splendidly supportive pianism.

The recorded sound is mellow and attractive and the notes are as ever with Dux in Polish, English and German and both attractively laid out and helpfully authoritative.

Jonathan Woolf


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