The concerto for accordion and orchestra is a relatively recent phenomenon in Polish music. It began in 1966 with Tadeusz Natanson's Concertino, written for the eminent Danish virtuoso accordionist Mogens Ellegaard. This album presents three works that were written between 1973 and 2010 by composers of different generations who followed different stylistic paths. Their works, however, all bear the hallmark of accessibility and are now regularly performed in concert venues.
Klaudiusz Baran, Accordion Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra • Michał Klauza
Since the 1960s the Polish accordion concerto has enjoyed increasing popularity and in recent years no one has inspired more composers to write for the instrument than Klaudiusz Baran. The three most important Polish concertos are showcased in this album. Marcin Błażewicz’s concerto possesses a fascinating wealth of colours with spectacular passages and melodic arabesques cast in a richly communicative language. Mikołaj Majkusiak’s youthful Concerto Classico is a virtuosic synthesis of old and contemporary forms, while in 1973 Bronisław Przybylski wrote a swashbuckling concerto full of the folkloric influence of Polish dances.
Listen to an extract from Przybylski’s Concerto polacco: I. Allegro scherzando
About the Artists
Klaudiusz Baran has changed the perception of the accordion in Poland through his charismatic, inventive and expressive performances. He has been especially acclaimed for his interpretations of contemporary music, which include fifty premieres of solo, chamber and orchestral pieces. He was the first accordionist to appear as soloist with both the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra and other leading Polish orchestras.
Michał Klauza is the artistic director of the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra and has been a guest conductor at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow since 2016. Prior to that he was music director of the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic in Białystok, and from 2004 to 2008 he was an associate conductor for Welsh National Opera. He has appeared as guest conductor with numerous orchestras in Poland and has toured internationally.
Founded in 1935 in Warsaw, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra has recorded more than 198 albums for many Polish and foreign labels, including Naxos, and made numerous archival recordings for the requirements of Polish Radio. The orchestra has frequently collaborated with renowned conductors and soloists, performing both in Poland and abroad.
‘I have never before heard the Goldberg Variations as Rättyä plays them. His creative energy is remarkable, and he brings Bach’s music to life in a way that is rarely heard on any instrument.’ – American Record Guide