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Chris Morgan
Scene Magazine, January 2014

Acclaimed Polish conductor Antoni Wit helms powerful performances of Krzysztof Penderecki’s concertos for piano and violin on this…release from Naxos. Comprised of ten movements played without pause, the exposition opens with moody strings, percussion, and a dramatic orchestral statement. However, the initial excitement is temporary and soon a more subdued tone is established. Pianist Barry Douglas meanders purposefully, his keyboard melody set against various orchestra sections—percussion, woodwind, brass, strings—before the concerto’s signature theme is restated and a final tumultuous dialogue between the instruments brings the piece to a crashing conclusion. In contrast, the flute concerto is restrained, with soloist Lukasz Dlugosz accompanied by modest chamber orchestra arrangement. An emotionally stirring sojourn…Masterful. © 2014 Scene Magazine Read complete review




Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, November 2013

The “Resurrection” Piano Concerto by Penderecki is unexpectedly neoromantic—a far cry from the style of music that made this composer famous in the 1960s. Inspired, at least in part, by the “9/11” terrorist attacks, this work is both a cri de coeur and a virtuoso showpiece, and Barry Douglas is fully invested in it. Naxos’s engineering is outstanding too. © 2013 Fanfare




Remy Franck
Pizzicato, September 2013

A perfect coupling, outstanding performances oft both works. At the end however, the deepest impression comes from the Piano Concerto, Penderecki’s moving  tribute to the tragedy of 9/11. © 2013 Pizzicato



Allen Gimbel
American Record Guide, September 2013

The Piano Concerto…is quite a showpiece, and Mr Douglas confronts it brilliantly, as does Wit and his fine orchestra.

Mr Dlugosz plays [The Flute Concerto] convincingly. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, September 2013

The engineering…is outstanding—this is a sonic showpiece.

…I do like the lush sound that comes out of the Warsaw Philharmonic, and I feel that Wit is a superior story-teller…

Although neither of these works is new to CD, the combination is unique, and the performances are very strong. I see no reason not to be enthusiastic about this release, and the piano concerto is growing on me. © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review



James A. Altena
Fanfare, September 2013

To my great delight, Naxos here continues its stellar series of releases devoted to the music of Krzysztof Penderecki, with all the orchestral works conducted by the redoubtable Antoni Wit.

These two performances are superb in every way, and every fan of Penderecki’s music will waste no time in adding them to his or her collection. This recording of the piano concerto is of the revised version from 2007…Contrasting versions aside, there is no question that this Naxos version is the better performance; Douglas is the superior pianist, with a lighter and more supple touch, and the recorded sound is far better balanced and reveals far more detail. In the flute concerto, Łukasz Długosz is a top-notch soloist…Antoni Wit and the Warsaw Philharmonic are as always exemplary advocates for the composer. Highly recommended… © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review




David Hurwitz
ClassicsToday.com, July 2013

[Piano Concerto] was premiered in this latest version by Barry Douglas, who plays it with proprietary zeal. It’s a fabulous addition to the repertoire, a grand piece nearly 40 minutes’ long in a single movement divided into 10 subsections. The thematic material is very strongly profiled: a driving march eventually gives way to a massive chorale that emerges tentatively about midway through the work. How wonderful it is that Penderecki not only has rediscovered the joy of melody, but has the imagination to write really good ones. His scoring is also stunning, and it goes without saying that Antoni Wit and the Warsaw Philharmonic do him proud. © ClassicsToday.com Read complete review



Brian Reinhart
MusicWeb International, July 2013

Barry Douglas[’]…performance [of the piano concerto] is commanding…The Warsaw Philharmonic and Antoni Wit are as exemplary as you might expect, too, capturing the music’s push and pull well…

For a dessert we’re given a performance of the flute concerto, with Lukasz Dlugosz giving a wildly colorful, fluent reading of the solo part. The chamber-sized orchestra allows us to hear clearly Penderecki’s skill at drawing exotic sounds from his ensemble…

Recorded sound is good in both venues…the piano concerto is probably a masterpiece, and this performance will be very, very hard to beat. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review




John Allison
BBC Music Magazine, July 2013

…Wit draws a kaleidoscopic performance, making this another valuable addition to the Penderecki discography. © 2013 BBC Music Magazine



Leslie Wright
MusicWeb International, June 2013

The performances leave nothing to be desired. Łukasz Długosz is the superb soloist here. Antoni Wit and the Warsaw Philharmonic are old hands when it comes to Penderecki and do not disappoint. The sound for the Piano Concerto is perfectly good, considering the huge forces required; that for the Flute Concerto with its more transparent orchestration is especially fine.

If you are collecting this Penderecki series, you can confidently add this latest volume. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Byzantion
MusicWeb International, May 2013

PENDERECKI, K.: Piano Concerto, “Resurrection” / Flute Concerto (B. Douglas, Dlugosz, Warsaw Philharmonic, Wit) 8.572696
PENDERECKI, K.: Fonogrammi / Horn Concerto / Partita / The Awakening of Jacob / Anaklasis / De natura sonoris No. 1 (Warsaw Philharmonic, Wit) 8.572482
PENDERECKI, K.: Sinfonietta Nos. 1 and 2 / Capriccio / 3 Pieces in Old Style / Serenade (Warsaw Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, Wit) 8.572212

The latest addition is a disc showcasing two of the composer’s finest concertos, the ten-movement Resurrection for piano and the more intimately scored one for flute. With the inimitable Barry Douglas at the keyboard…in the first and young Polish flautist Lukasz Dlugosz in the second, on paper these already look safe bets, especially with Antoni Wit directing his rarely unimpressive Warsaw Philharmonic. In practice, these works are masterpieces. The earthy, minatory Piano Concerto is one of the most exciting places to begin an exploration of Penderecki’s music, although the Flute Concerto is arguably more accessible, being altogether gentler and, given Penderecki’s earlier reputation, surprisingly tonal.

…no one can criticise the standard of music-making on any of the three releases. Besides Douglas and Dlugosz there are stand-out individual performances from Urszula Janik, Jennifer Montone and Jean-Louis Capezzali. Above all, Wit and the WPO, totally at home in this uncompromising repertoire, combine to produce a series of outstanding performances, technically and expressively comparable to, sometimes even surpassing, those of Penderecki himself conducting different orchestras on EMI Classics and DUX. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Infodad.com, April 2013

…the 1992 Flute Concerto…is the more interesting work on this (+++) CD. Here too are interconnected movements—five of them in this case—but despite the relatively small range of the flute when compared with the piano, the emotional range of this work seems wider; and even though this concerto’s chamber orchestra is significantly smaller than the ensemble in the piano work (which has a plethora of percussion, plus triple winds), the colors that Penderecki brings forth from his more-limited palette are somehow richer. © 2013 Infodad.com Read complete review




MaestroSteve
Cinemusical, April 2013

The present release provides an opportunity to hear some of Krzystof Penderecki’s work from the past twenty years.

…the Piano Concerto ‘Resurrection’…is a simply fascinating work that you will likely find returning to again to discover the way these ideas are melded together. Penderecki’s Flute Concerto…makes for a very interesting work.

The release is certainly worth picking up for this likely definitive recording. The piano is very forward in the sound picture but the orchestra seems well-balanced against this sound and the result is some crystal-clear sound that is quite impressive. The Warsaw Philharmonic is certainly at the top of its game here under the capable leadership of Antoni Wit. An easily recommended release for fans of 20th century music, or perhaps 21st century music…as this new concerto perhaps heralds both a looking back at a previous century and the dangers inherent in the new. © 2013 Cinemusical Read complete review



Jean-Yves Duperron
Classical Music Sentinel, April 2013

This ongoing Naxos series of recordings covering most of Penderecki’s output has been one pleasure after another, with this one topping the list as a prime example of a superlative achievement. Pianist Barry Douglas…is back and in obviously top form, easily surmounting every technical and expressive hurdle this concerto throws at him, and as always, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Antoni Wit simply can’t be outclassed in this kind of music. Good to know that “meaningful, substantial and moving” music is still being written and performed, and presented this well. © 2013 Classical Music Sentinel Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, March 2013

The Piano Concerto was revised in 2007 and marks one more stage in Penderecki’s return to tonal music of the early part of the 20th century. Playing for almost forty minutes and in ten linked movements, it connects with the concertos of Rachmaninov and in many ways predates Prokofiev. It offers the soloist ample scope for virtuosity, punctuated by orchestral passages of beauty and tenderness, the work’s title coming from the use of a choral theme of a secular character. From the opening bars it grasps your attention, at times having something of the feel of the Dies Irae fatalistic mood, its two marches redolent  with the caustic quality of Shostakovich. They eventually give way to the sadness and sounds of death, with church bells in the backdrop, before the music commences its journey to the final and brutal pages where there is no room for reconciliation in this resurrection. First performed in the revised version by the Irish pianist, Barry Douglas, whose meteoric rise to international recognition followed his winning performance in the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow. It is a reading full of red-blooded vigour, the Warsaw orchestra in superb form. By contrast the Flute Concerto is scored for a chamber orchestra and takes us back to Penderecki in 1992, when he had not completely shed his cutting edge modernism. This too is played without a break, but is in five movements of very different tempos. For the soloist, Lukasz Dlugosz, it must be rewarding to find the composer creating so many interesting sonorities that are well away from the instruments usual ‘bright and breezy’ image. Impeccable sound quality. © David’s Review Corner






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