Piotr MOSS (b.1949)
Orchestral and Chamber Works
Elan for Strings (1990) [6:14]
Concertino for two violins, two string quartets and double-bass (1984) [22:40]
Canti for flute and strings (1992) [11:15]
Elzbieta Gajewska (flute)
Capriccio for piano and strings (1994) [21:47]
Véronique Briel (piano)
Fantaisie for cello and strings (1996) [13:19]
Andrzej Bauer (cello)
'Amadeus’ Chamber Orchestra/Agnieszka Duczmal
rec. 1997-2007, Poland. DDD
DUX DUX0879 [75:17]
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.
  Rob Barnett
Good to hear Moss’s distinctive voice.