The Polish composer Piotr Moss was born in Bydgoszcz and numbered,
Bacewicz, Penderecki and Boulanger among his teachers.
This disc is uniform with two other Moss orchestral collections: DUX
0839 and DUX 0820.
His Elan for Strings exerts a gripping spell. It presents,
in succinct form, Moss’s emblematic virtuosity, tension, deep chesty
attack from the strings and Herrmann-like V12-style propulsion. Add
to this his virtuosic proclivity for extremes of dynamic. Elan
can be thought of as accessible Moss. It would work well as a concert-opener
in all its Bartok-meets-Rawsthorne-meets-Waxman kinetics.
Concertino takes us back into the avant-garde 1980s with
angularity, sinister slashes, wild-eyed pizzicato and romance filtered
through acid drizzle. Canti does not deny the cantabile nature
of the flute although around the soloist the orchestra skitters, groans,
hums, abrades and moans.
Capriccio and Fantaisie are also from the 1990s.
The former has the soloist in much closer touch with the same orchestral
world we find in the Canti. This is not easy listening by
any means though at 4:09 grotesque humour enters briefly before the
rhetoric of tragedy takes the reins again. It recalls a sort of Nights
in the Gardens of Spain but refracted through twentieth century
world experience. It is always interesting and like the other pieces
here has been recorded by Dux with telling force, resonance and penetration.
Fantaisie again has that unshakable sense of mood-concentration.
Its orchestral weave is typically full of well calculated incident
and the soloist certainly is tested. The cello, rather like the flute
in Canti, is again not called on to deny its nature. It sings
its way along while the orchestra is as active as a hill of irritated
termites. There is one moment (7:00) where its soulful voice suddenly
causes the orchestra to forget itself in one rather glorious waltz
style episode – fleeting yet memorable.
Good to hear Moss’s distinctive voice as a reminder that Polish music
of the twentieth century is not all Penderecki, Lutoslawski, Gorecki
and Bacewicz. These are all world premiere recordings.