“It seems to me that Polish music still remains rather undiscovered. Therefore I was particularly pleased to be able to record these rarely performed pieces with Naxos. It is a great honour for me to have been able to include such great composers as Bacewicz and Tansman on this album, as they are connected to my birthplace, the Polish city of Lodz. The particular energy of this music, the virtuosity and, on the other hand, the Polish nostalgia, are brought beautifully to the fore together with the Kammersymphonie Berlin. I hope that with this recording, this partly forgotten music will find its way back to the light.”
The works on this recording were written by four roughly contemporary Polish composers who settled and pursued their careers in different parts of the world. Grażyna Bacewicz’s First Violin Concerto displays her own glittering virtuosity as a performer, while Alexandre Tansman wrote his Baroque-infused Five Pieces for the great Josef Szigeti. Michał Spisak considered his neo-classical Andante andAllegro to be ‘a little story for violin and orchestra’, while Andrzej Panufnik’s wide-ranging ViolinConcerto became a ‘pilgrimage into my past’ and is richly suffused with Polish atmosphere.
Listen to an extract from Grażyna Bacewicz’s
Violin Concerto No. 1:
Listen to Raymond Bisha's podcast
about this recording
About the Artists
Piotr Plawner began studying the violin at the age of six. Just three years later, he made his stage début as a soloist with orchestra. He has won first prize in no fewer than five international violin competitions. The most notable of these were the International Festival of Young Talents in Bayreuth (1991), the International Wieniawski Competition in Poznań (1991) and the prestigious International Music Competition of the ARD in Munich (1995). Plawner has performed as a soloist all over Europe, in the Middle East and the United States. He has also made many recordings for radio and television.
Jürgen Bruns is the co-founder, artistic director and principal conductor of the Kammersymphonie Berlin. He was the principal conductor of the KOS, Ljubljana and the European Contemporary Composers Orchestra until this year. He served as a violinist with the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra until 1991, while developing his interests and skills as a conductor. He now enjoys an international career as a guest conductor, with some eighty first performances in recent years, and a particular interest in neglected works of early modern repertoire.
The Kammersymphonie Berlin was established in 1991 by Jürgen Bruns and a group of young Berlin musicians, soon winning a reputation for its innovative programming and wide range of activities. Under its artistic director Jürgen Bruns, the orchestra has a comprehensive repertoire, with a focus on modern classical works, particularly neglected music of the first half of the twentieth century. The orchestra receives regular invitations to perform at home and abroad, with concert tours throughout Germany and in Austria, Slovenia, South Korea, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey and elsewhere.