One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Some items
to consider

in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati








Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS MDT

Krzysztof BACULEWSKI (b.1950)
Works for Orchestra
Ground (1981) [11:19]
A Walking Shadow (1990) [11:43]
Cantata – Les Adieux (2001-2008) [16:14]
Concerto for Orchestra (1982-83 revised 2009) [31:18]
Jadwiga Rappé (alto, Les Adieux)
Orchestra of the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic in Bialystok/Szymon Bywalec
rec. July 2009, Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Concert Hall in Bialystok
DUX 0725 [31:18]

Experience Classicsonline

Baculewski, was born in Warsaw in 1950. He studied composition with Witold Rudsinski at the State College of Music and subsequently with Messiaen in Paris. He is now a composition professor at his alma mater in Warsaw, which has since been renamed the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music. An essayist, writer and reviewer he has also found the time to reconstruct Ignacy Dobrzynski’s 1824 Piano Concerto as well as other nineteenth century Polish works, not least Moniuszko’s opera Beata which he orchestrated.

His music is arresting, but predicated on established historic practices such as the Ground that gives its name to the title of his 1981 work. This does indeed open powerfully, though from 2:47 a harpsichord appears playing in a baroque style, apparently indifferent to the sense of glower and glitter around. Ostinati and variational form are the spine of the work, though so artfully constructed that one might not easily know. The outbursts have a Penderecki-like authority. A Walking Shadow (1990) derives from Macbeth; ‘Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player/That struts and frets his hour upon the stage/And then is here no more…’ The composer apparently denies any programmatic implications. Again he uses the harpsichord as a responsive active agent in his sound world. The percussion section too is intimately involved, its contribution ominous. Colours throughout are heavy, dark, brooding. It’s not an especially easy listen – but then it’s not supposed to be.

I’ve recently been listening to the fine Polish alto Jadwiga Rappé singing a sheaf of Moniuszko songs. Here she is again. She sings Les Adieux, written for her, settings of five French poems - by Lamartine, Verlaine, Leconte de Lisle, and two by Apollinaire. The texts are here, but translated into Polish. The first four settings date from 2001, and the final one from 2008. The quick ‘broken phrases’ and slithering writing of the first setting is highly expressive. Baculewski infiltrates a Mahlerian figure into the third, though one might not notice (I certainly didn’t) and in Apollinaire’s L’adieu infuses, toward the very end, the spirit of Purcell’s Dido; quite an apposite move, and indicative of that communing spirit that sees him employing other composers’ music allusively within his own. The most rhythmically charged writing falls in the last song, where the alto is at her most formidable; she’s a fine musician indeed.

The longest work in this disc is the Bartók-sounding Concerto for Orchestra. The piccolo opens in birdsong, a recurrent feature, and there is plenty of colour and aeration, plenty of shifting textures and colours. The more visceral writing does again put one in mind of Penderecki, the avian ones of his erstwhile teacher Messiaen. The martial figures are unsettling, the percussion again staunch.

The composer is on record as advocating in his own music ‘a return to melody, sonorous beauty, consonances, phrasing and form’ [Baculewski, Output of Polish Composers, 1984]. This doesn’t however preclude moments of terse and sometimes unlikeable eruption. He is certainly a composer who values kinship and the primacy of tradition. Sensitive to form, rejecting obscurity, his works are impressively controlled, and powerfully conveyed, in this fine disc.

Jonathan Woolf



















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

Pat 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.