MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

DVD: AmazonUK   AmazonUS

CD: AmazonUK   AmazonUS




Polish Spirit
Mieczyslaw KARŁOWICZ (1876–1909)
Violin Concerto in A Op.8 (1903)
Emil MŁYNARSKI (1870-1935)
Violin Concerto No.2 in D Op.6 (1898)
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Prelude from Partita in E BWV1006
Vittorio MONTI (1868-1922)
Csárdás arranged Nigel Kennedy
Danny Boy
Nigel Kennedy (violin)
Polish Chamber Orchestra/Jacek Kaspszyk
Filmed in the Philharmonic Hall of Bydgoszcz, 9 June 2006  
DVD format; DVD-9; linear stereo DTS 5.1 surround; Dolby Digital 5.1 surround; region free NTSC;
EMI CLASSICS 3799349 [110:00] or 3799342 (CD)


The DVD of Polish Spirit is released in tandem with the CD. The CD however is a studio recording whilst the DVD captures a performance given in the Philharmonic Hall of Bydgoszcz in June 2006. There Kennedy coupled the Karłowicz and Młynarski concertos, interspersing them with Bach and ending with two encores; Monti and Danny Boy. For the CD he kept to more traditional Polish models and had a brace of Chopin arrangements.

The DVD is prefaced by a documentary feature called “The Adventure” in which Kennedy talks about the two works. He sits in a fluorescent green hat, casually unshaven, in a mountain hut. He mentions how he’d been given a recording of the Młynarski by a Polish admirer after a concert several years ago but had only listened to it fairly recently and that his interest had been kindled by it. It was the Kulka recording and collectors will know that the Polish player recorded both these concertos. The concertmaster of the Polish Chamber Orchestra is briefly interviewed and, at slightly greater length, conductor Jacek Kaspszyk.  There are also shots of the rehearsal where Kennedy sports his now obligatory Guinness t-shirt and stomps around the stage in mildly deranged fashion.

The performances, before a warm and effusive audience, are full of power and veritable eloquence. You’ll find the sound of the CD is appreciably better in terms of depth, definition and clarity and the performances have the edge at least in terms of neatness and maximal ensemble between the soloist and his estimable colleagues. But the live performances on DVD do capture very well the undeniable allure of Kennedy’s committed and absolute dedication to these two works.

For the concert Kennedy dons his accustomed motley and Doc Marten boots. He greets the concertmaster and conductor with his cringe-making “closed-fists-touching” greeting. Turning to the audience he wishes them dobrý večer (“Good Evening” in Polish – Kennedy spends much of his life shuttling between Malvern and Krakow) and announces the music in English. Then we’re off. Camera angle shots are unobtrusive and intelligently directed. When a phrase comes off we can catch a quick smile of complicity between soloist and conductor. He plays both concertos exceptionally well and the added adrenalin of the live performances brings its own reward in terms of heightened expression – this despite the fact that he’d been touring the same works for some time before committing them to disc; indeed he mentions in the interview that they’d recently been touring them throughout Germany.

It would be necessary to listen to the CD to make comparisons with the Kulka recordings of both works or the Tasmin Little or Dorota Anderszewska Karłowicz discs or indeed Wanda Wilkomirska on Polski Nagrania – the last of which, regrettably, is currently unavailable. But Kennedy plays with wonderful warmth – the tone can roughen in places but that is a product of expressive commitment and the eloquence of the slow movements  - especially the Młynarski - is often breathtaking. I can’t forgive him the gurning and the fist touching, though I’m more inclined to forgive him in the finale of the Młynarski when he turns and plays to the first desk of the violins like a café fiddler.

His Bach is thoughtful and intense. The Monti is a riot – flirty and naughty, entering Tzigane territory, and involving a long walk through the orchestral ranks and back to the stage. The whole thing lasts forever. The orchestra loved it, so did the audience and, God damn it, so did I.

For those who want the concertos I’d recommend the CD. For those who want to enjoy the rare visual experience of these concertos I’d be happy to suggest the DVD though the sound is palpably inferior.

Jonathan Woolf



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing




Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.