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 £15.50 postage paid world-wide.

Raul KOCZALSKI (1885-1948)
Piano Concerto No.3 in C major, Op.125 (c.1936-37) [26:16]
Piano Concerto No.4 in B flat major, Op.130 (c.1938) [29:51]
Joanna Ławrynowicz (piano)
Orkiestra Symfoniczna Filharmonii im. Henryka Wieniawskiego w Lublinie/Wojciech Rodek
rec. 2018, Filharmonia im. Henryka Wieniawskiego, Poland

The earlier release of Raul Koczalski’s First and Second Concertos occasioned genuine admiration and now here is the second volume of this series – though note that Acte Préalable has also just released a disc devoted to the string concertos whilst a chamber music volume is already available. I knew Koczalski composed but had always assumed, given his fame as a pianist, that his time would have been limited. Not a bit of it, as a check of his work list will demonstrate.

The Third Concerto seems to have been composed before – but not long before – 1938. Koczalski takes his protagonist straight in, to unveil a jocular cantilena and much delicate tracery. The piano is spurred to romantic action by the orchestra’s winds and brass in particular - there’s something Mendelssohnian about the loquaciously elegant wind writing - and the whole effect is charming. A brief and, for the time, very old-fashioned Allegretto is followed by a slow movement long on Schumannesque lyricism and liquidity and a jovial March finale full of open-air confidence. There’s evidence of more Schumann-inspired writing and just a touch of Rachmaninov in the chording.

The Fourth Concerto followed soon after and adheres to much the same four-movement scheme. Here the piano is verdant and the orchestra full of colloquial ease. Again, Schumann looms large with an admixture of late Romanticism. If you’re not looking for Scriabin or Berg all this is fine, especially as there are many felicities of colour and orchestration to be heard. Is that a celesta, for example, that appears several times. The Scherzo here is both quirky and rather beautiful – gorgeous moments for the orchestra and then also the piano before a switchback. Undoubtedly Koczalski, at his best, possessed a truly poetic spirit and has the tact and taste not to pile on the expression in the slow movement. His finale is jovial and terpsichorean, the piano striking a rather chamber-like posture, leaving it to the orchestra to explore solemnity, grandeur and nobility.

Joanna Ławrynowicz’s thoroughly committed and sensitive performances are finely interwoven with Wojciech Rodek’s astute direction. If you liked the earlier volume you will find this brace of concertos just as much to your liking. I prefer the Fourth for its whimsical and lyrical richness, but both are well worth hearing. Then dig out the transfers of Koczalski 78s and broadcasts to round out your listening.

Jonathan Woolf

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