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

 57,903 reviews
   and more ... 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


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews



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
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom


Support us financially by purchasing
this through MusicWeb
for £13.50 postage paid world-wide.

Ryszard SIELICKI (1916-2005)
Chamber Works
Violin Sonata (1945?) [14:36]
Reverie (Légende hebraïque) for violin and piano (1998) [5:43]
Jankel's Mazurka (Hommage à Yehudi Menuhin) for violin and piano (1999) [7:19]
Melody for cello and piano (1940s?) [4:22]
Burlesca - Polish Dance for cello and piano (1940s?) [5:08]
String Quartet no. 1 in F minor Polish (1944) [24:18]
Opium String Quartet (Agnieszka Marucha (violin I); Anna Szalińska (violin I); Magdalena Małecka-Wippich (viola); Olga Łosakiewicz-Marcyniak (cello)); Pawłowski Tomasz (piano)
rec. June 2016, Uniwersytet Muzyczyny Fryderyka Chopina. DDD

Acte Préalable show no signs of fatigue in their mission to revive the fortunes of composers whose names and music were never or hardly known outside Poland. Many of their resurrections have centred on nineteenth century composers; not so here.

Sielicki, we are told in Edward Sielicki's liner-note (Polish and English), had great domestic success with popular music, including mass market songs, musical comedies, a children's opera and music for fairytales. His music tuition in Warsaw was brutally terminated by the Second World War after which he studied in Minsk and then in Moscow, latterly with Yuri Shaporin and Dmitri Shostakovich. Having graduated he returned to Warsaw in 1948 where he worked with Polski-Nagrania and promoted many fine Polish artists including Kulka and Wilkomirska. He balanced this with composition and overseeing a series of publications including Musica Antiqua Polonica and Polish Jazz.

The present world premiere recordings help us to become au fait with a composer who was no revolutionary but who had singing values to communicate. The Reverie (Légende hebraïque) is a comparatively recent piece - typically introspective and capricious. The stately Jankel's Mazurka has a good theme that mixes the dignified heritages of two dances: Kujawiak and Mazur. The Melody is said to be from Sielicki's Soviet years. Its dipping and cresting contours are grateful and would grace any young cellist's folio. As expected from its title, the cello Burlesca is at times even more lively. Dedicated to Szymanowski, the inspiration seems to have been the folk culture of the Tatra mountains. It quotes from a Polish song and ends in a sudden accelerating flurry of notes.

The annotator claims a modern style for the String Quartet. True, there is an occasionally complex density to the weave of instrumental lines. Add to that a Bartókian edginess in the first movement but this is no more challenging than the instrumental writing in Warlock's The Curlew. Gentleness is at work in the short central Andante cantabile. The 14-minute finale is a Theme and Variations on the Polish song Za górami, za lasami, za dolinami. Sielicki makes moving folk-inflected play with the song with results that are tart and sweet.

The compact three-movement Violin Sonata is "dedicated to the memory of Shostakovich" yet was completed in 1945. The dedicatee died in 1975 thirty years before Sielicki's death. Naturally, there is nothing stopping a work that has, to all intents and purposes, lain in a drawer being given a dedication thirty years later. The Sonata was written at about the time that the composer was studying with Shostakovich so one can see how this may have come about. For all its brevity the Sonata is a lanky, big-boned, dramatic piece that is rife with heroism and delight, quiet and joyously shouted. While the notes quite plausibly claim kinship with Prokofiev, Weinberg and Janáček this score often sounds more like the violin sonatas of a number of English composers including Howells, Rootham and Dunhill. There's an unsullied sweetness and directness of utterance about this very attractive music.

The performances here seem more than adept and the sound quality is suitable forthright.

Rob Barnett



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus

September 2022
Nikolai Medtner
Herbert Blomstedt
Tarrodi Four Elements
Secret Love Letters
Lisa Batiashvili