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


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos 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



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Ignacy Jan PADEREWSKI (1860-1941)
Symphony in B minor, Op. 24, Polonia (1903-08).
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Jerzy Maksymiuk.
rec. Greyfriars Church, Edinburgh, 22-23 January 1998
first issued as Hyperion CDA67056

Experience Classicsonline

Paderewski’s Symphony in B minor (Polonia) is a large, sprawling edifice of some 75 minutes duration cast in three movements. There was a plan to include a Scherzo but that never came to fruition).

The Symphony was begun in 1903 and premiered in 1908. There is an all-pervading darkness to the introduction (Adagio maestoso). A desolate oboe solo around 2:30 is wonderfully rendered by the BBCSSO’s principal; the bassoon’s retort is equally eloquent. Most impressive is the reflective tenderness Maksymiuk extracts from his players. The arrival of the Allegro vivace reveals a similarly grim tread, now determined and positively Lisztian in utterance. The sweetness of the string body is particularly noteworthy – there is no hint of the “second league BBC orchestra” about any of this. The shadow of Richard Strauss is audible in the background – many have detected Elgar, also.

This discursive first movement - it lasts just a tad over half an hour - requires a skilled lead, and Maksymiuk seems to know just how to give the reflective sections space without losing overall shape or momentum. It is Maksymiuk’s ability to convey directional force that enables the sprawling first movement to survive and, indeed, to fascinate. The players obviously agreed, as there is a feeling of real dedication here. The engineers perform miracles. Thick textures never congest but rather add to the complexity and, indeed, sophistication of it all.

The slow movement follows on rather too quickly – Hyperion could surely have given us just a little more of a breather … or perhaps they don’t expect anyone to listen all the way through? The central Andante con moto, at 17:01, is the shortest movement. The booklet notes rightly point to Rachmaninov (whose Isle of the Dead was just round the corner, in 1909). Maksymiuk creates a magnificently emaciated feel at some points that speaks of a vulnerability only hinted at elsewhere in the work.

The music moves straight into the finale. Here there is a marked exploratory quality to Paderewski’s invention. There are hints at indigenous Polish music without direct quotation. March rhythms imply the idea of national struggle; brass fanfares imply battle. It is in this movement that the present writer detects the most Elgarian influence. The raucous end is clearly designed to provoke applause, and the BBCSSO certainly manages to evoke the celebratory atmosphere required.

We should also note another modern recording of the Symphony on DUX 0304 and a rather more ancient and cut version on a long gone Olympia OCD305.

Paderewski’s canvas is vast, and one can only hold Hyperion in the highest esteem for this recording – and for reissuing it on the lower price Helios label.

Colin Clarke

see also review of original release by Rob Barnett









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

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.