One of the most grown-up review sites around

52,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free

we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


with Eggebrecht we get all the excitement we can handle

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

absolutely thrilling

immediacy and spontaneity

Schumann Lieder

24 Preludes
one of the finest piano discs

‘Box of Delights.’

J S Bach A New Angle
Organ fans form an orderly queue

a most welcome issue

I enjoyed it tremendously

the finest traditions of the house

music for theorbo
old and new

John Luther Adams
Become Desert
concealing a terrifying message

ground-breaking, winning release

screams quality

Surprise of the month

English Coronation, 1902-1953
magnificent achievement

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Roman MACIEJEWSKI (1910-1987)
Transcriptions for Two Pianos – Volume 1
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Passacaglia in C minor, BWV 582 [12:02]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
10 Variations in G on a theme by Gluck, K 455 [12:41]
Louis-Nicolas CLÉRAMBAULT (1676-1749)
Suite in D minor [15:17]
Ignace-Jan PADEREWSKI (1860-1941)
Sarabande in B minor Op 14 No 2 [3:34]
Minuet in G Op 14 No 1 [3:39]
Maurice RAVEL (1874-1937)
Pavane pour une infant défunte [4:51]
Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909)
Tango Op 165 No 2 [3:06]
Fritz KREISLER (1875-1962)
Liebesfreud [2:51]
Katarzyna Rajs/Piotr Kepinski (Pianos)
rec. 2016, Concert Hall of the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Pomeranian Philharmonic in Bydgoszcz, Poland
CD ACCORD ACD230-2 [59:03]

After the death of Szymanowski the careers of the next generation of Polish composers were inevitably disrupted to varying degrees and in contrasting circumstances by the German invasion and the start of the Second World War. Some took advantage of continental winds of fashion on the continent, thus Alexandre Tansman, for example, had already relocated to Paris, where Milhaud and Honegger tried to induct him into Les Six. Meanwhile the younger Witold Lutoslawski stayed put in Warsaw, eking out a living in the clubs and bars as one half of a celebrated piano duet, performing arrangements of popular works of the day – probably his most regularly performed work, the Variations on a theme of Paganini, dating from this period.

A parallel case is that of their contemporary Roman Maciejewski (1910-1988), a selection of whose transcriptions for two pianos constitutes this disc from Accord, the ‘Vol 1’ attached to the title presumably announcing the start of a series. I first encountered Maciejewski in the early 1990s via an old Polskie Nagrania recording of his magnum opus, his Requiem (1941-56), a monumental if over-written piece, some of which impressed and even moved me. The excellent notes for this issue touch on Maciejewski’s life’s ambition in writing this work, and imply he sacrificed a lucrative career in Hollywood in order to pursue it.

Indeed, it seems that this composer was reticent in promoting his work and espoused at regular points a kind of Hindemithian ‘gebrauchsmusik’ – the composition of music for utilitarian purposes. These transcriptions seemingly fall into this category, as at the outset of the war Maciejewski also operated as a successful pianist and found himself in Sweden, regularly working in a duo with a now-forgotten English pianist called Martin Penny (a future accompanist for the Philharmonia Chorus). They were clearly highly regarded in 1940s Stockholm music circles – indeed the booklet quotes from a very complimentary review of a 1944 recital.

This pleasingly performed and recorded disc showcases Maciejewski’s ability to transcribe both works of high art (such as Bach’s mighty C minor Passacaglia, BWV 582) and pieces of a lighter, ‘lollipop’ type (e.g. Albeniz’s Tango; Kreisler’s Liebesfreud). Featured in between are Mozart’s 10 Variations in G on the theme ‘Unser dummer pobel meint’ by Gluck (KV 455), a manufactured ‘Suite in D minor’ by Clérambault (a compilation of movements from his two Organ Suites of 1710), the popular Sarabande and Menuet from Paderewski’s Op 14 set of Humoresques and (least successful in my view) Ravel’s Pavane pour une infant défunte – some over-ornate decoration rather defeating its point in this case. Arrangements throughout are thoroughly workmanlike rather than spectacular. The Bach certainly works well for two pianos in this regard and is splendidly performed.

What I suppose a disc like this does is add to the sum of our knowledge of the two-piano repertoire, which if you like that genre is no bad thing. The Polish performers turn in finely co-ordinated performances, especially stirring in the Bach – the real highlight in my view here – and revealing an apt nimbleness and delicacy in the Mozart. The instruments sound good – faithfully recorded in a most helpful acoustic.

It’s far from an unpleasant listen, but frankly, in spite of the best efforts of performers and engineers, the content (with the obvious exception of the Bach) is of insufficient heft for me to repeat the experience too soon. Afficianados of the two-piano repertoire might disagree, of course!

Richard Hanlon



We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger