One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


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

Some items
to consider

TROUBADISC

colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin


Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti


Guillaume LEKEU


Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website



Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases


Superior performance


Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons
Notable


Verdi Requiem Thielemann


Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital


Arnold Bax
Be converted


this terrific disc


John Buckley
one of my major discoveries


François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3

........................................

Bryden Thomson


Symphonies


Vaughan Williams Concertos


RVW Orchestral

 


Support us financially by purchasing
this through MusicWeb
for £15.50 postage paid world-wide.

Raul KOCZALSKI (1885-1948)
Violin Concerto in D minor Op. 84 (1915) [26:49]
Cello Concerto in E major Op. 85 (1915) [20:51]
Agnieszka Marucha (violin), Łukasz Tudzierz (cello), Orkiestra Symfoniczna Filharmonii Lubelskiej im. Henryka Wieniawskiego / Wojciech Rodek
rec. 2018, Filharmonii Lubelskiej im. Henryka Wieniawskiego, Poland
ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0504 [47:43]

This evolving Raul Koczalski series is spinning some surprises. To those who know him only as a pianist, the evidence of his large-scale compositions may well come as something of a shock, not least because one might have expected that his significance as a famous virtuoso might have precluded him from the sustained effort necessary for composition.

However, as a look at his extensive work list, freely available online, will indicate he was a prolific composer at various points in his career. Previous releases have been devoted to piano concertos and chamber music and now here are the string concertos, which were written in close proximity in 1915 and are in fact opus neighbours, following closely on the heels of the Second Piano Concerto of 1914.

The Violin Concerto is cast in three conventional movements. From its relaxed Moderato movement onward, it revels in unbridled lyricism and easy-going warmth adding some figuration for the dexterous soloist to negotiate, the orchestra responsible for subtle transformation of material. Violin lyricism predominates in the central slow movement, avoiding overt virtuosity, and deft orchestration ensures expressive breadth. There is a big contrast in the Polonaise finale, the most obviously Polish of the three movements. The orchestra is prepared to take on a more sinewy role whilst the soloist reprises the songful elegance that characterises the concerto. Koczalski could not have then known Młynarski’s Second Violin Concerto, as it was written a year after his, but wasn’t performed until 1920. But maybe he knew Moszkowski’s 1883 Concerto and, perhaps a little more to the point, Karłowicz’s 1903 Concerto, which like Koczalski’s, opens with a brief orchestral statement before the soloist presents the main theme. Both concertos share a second subject of lyric simplicity and ineffable beauty.

The Cello Concerto is a more compact though still three-movement work that opens with a brooding Maestoso with a rhapsodic element at work. The Largo is reflective with some glistening harp colours and fine wind solos. Koczalski is cautious about the dangers of drowning the cello; he is sparing in his brass for example, and really only unleashes the cellist’s instincts for virtuoso roulades in the finale where much is made of it. Framing orchestral writing is apt but the end is rather abrupt and to be frank the Cello Concerto lacks precisely those qualities that make the Violin Concerto distinctive.

This is no reflection on soloist Łukasz Tudzierz who plays splendidly. But there’s no doubting that Agnieszka Marucha has more to work with and responds with technical accomplishment and a good sense of the music’s unselfconscious charm. Presiding over both works is Wojciech Rodek whose Lublin forces, though not vast, are sympathetic and sensitive throughout.

Jonathan Woolf



We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


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
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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

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
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger