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Kelsey Walsh
I Care If You Listen, February 2013

The first work on the CD captures in essence what struck me most about the CD in its entirety: while every work on the CD sounds like Gorecki, it also shows an incredible range of dynamics, style, and orchestration. Listeners get everything from quirky folk-like tunes and lighter orchestration through expansive expression and lyricism to jagged accents and off-kilter rhythms. All in all I enjoyed listening to this presentation of music by Gorecki, and would recommend it highly. © 2013 I Care If You Listen Read complete review

Barry Witherden
BBC Music Magazine, September 2012

The Concerto-Cantata (1992) received its premiere recording here, and the Warsaw Philharmonic does it full justice, playing equally convincingly and intensely in the severe concentrated slow sections and the all-out loud and fast episodes. Carol Wincenc plays the prominent flute part expressively…Always riveting. © 2012 BBC Music Magazine

Allen Gimbel
American Record Guide, September 2012

Following Maria Cizmic’s recent work on Gorecki …it’s not hard to suggest an interpretation of the piece. Struggle between trauma and redemption can be taken personally or politically…and given the composer’s and his country’s history, the work’s expressive trajectory can be clearly followed. In any event, the result is very effective.

The Three Dances (1973) are pulsating and obsessive chunks of Polish peasant stuff, the beautiful middle movement showing an early resemblance to the figuration in the last movement of the famous Third Symphony. It would make a terrific substitute for the 19th Century folk music rhapsodies heard so often closing orchestra concerts.

This is a wonderful selection of this great composer’s not often heard orchestral music. The Warsaw Phil is obviously a definitive source for it. © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online

Paul Corfield Godfrey
MusicWeb International, June 2012

The brass eruptions in the Little Requiem form the second movement in a symphony-like structure, with tolling repeated piano chords underpinning the texture. The music subsides back into a very beautiful clarinet solo before the tolling bells return. Anna Górecka…comes into her own in the dynamic and scherzo-like third movement, the ‘polka’ which is almost jazzy in feel. The final movement returns us to the calm of the opening.

The Concerto-Cantata is a very much less troubled work, and the gentle suspensions from the flute over the static background produce a feeling of untroubled calm. This is music of real beauty, balm to the troubled soul, and the sudden eruption of the third movement into a Shostakovich-like scherzo comes as a real shock. The grandiose climax brings a mood of frantic triumph…This is a superb piece…

The fact that this disc contains world première recordings of the Concerto-Cantata and the Harpsichord Concerto in its piano-and-orchestra form makes this issue self-recommending. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review, June 2012

Everything is played quite well by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra under Antoni Wit, and both soloists—particularly Anna Górecka—perform with a sure sense of the composer’s rhythms and an idiomatic understanding of his communicative style. © 2012 Read complete review

John Terauds
Musical Toronto, June 2012

The album…features the world-premiere recording of Concerto-Cantata, Op. 65…The four-movement piece—my favourite on this CD—gives the soloist’s job to a flute (the virtuosic and widely expressive Carol Wincenc), which frequently engages in dialogue with other solo instruments in the orchestra. The third-movement Concertino is the liveliest, full of echoes of Stravinsky.

The…Little Requiem for a Certain Polka, Op. 66…assigns the main solo role to the piano—played by the composer’s daughter Anna Górecka. She is also the soloist in a piano version of Górecki’s 1980 Harpsichord Concerto, amped up because of the greater power of the modern instrument.

With a snap of his baton, Wit is able to switch the orchestra from a quiet, ember-like glow to sharp, hard-charging bonfire. It’s great work. © 2012 Musical Toronto Read complete review

Jeff Simon
The Buffalo News, May 2012

…this disc winds up to be something of a premiere performance for one of Gorecki’s finest works, played by the right soloist with what one has to call the right orchestra. Filling out the disc are the piano and orchestra version of his Harpsichord Concerto performed by the composer’s daughter, pianist Anna Gorecka, and the Three Dances Op. 34. The glory of this disc is that it seems to exist entirely independently of the stunning impression made on the world by Gorecki’s Symphony No. 3, the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. © 2012 The Buffalo News Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2012

Recorded just a few months after Henryk Gorecki’s death, the disc makes a fitting memorial to the great Polish composer. Born in 1933 his compositions embraced many influences as it passed through three distinct phases, including post-Webern expressionism and an element of free serial technique. In his final period we also find his version of minimalism with repeated phrases and music that seems to be going nowhere. He was fascinated by extremes—as you will find if you set your volume control at a modest level for the opening of the Little Requiem for a Certain Polka—the second movement opening with a high impact blast from the brass. Scored for piano and thirteen instruments, it drops us into a bawdy dance hall, the band hammering its way through a polka—of sorts—only for the peace of death to close the work. The Concerto-Cantata, completed the year earlier in 1992, is receiving its world premiere recording. The unusual name comes from the titles of its four movements that appear in sacred Baroque vocal music. It is, to say the least, a very modern orchestral score with a major role for solo flute. The opening is akin to a long lament, the mood carrying over into the Arioso movement, the clouds blowing away to reveal the vivacity of the Allegro before returning to the lament. A hyperactive Harpsichord Concerto, played in a piano version by Gorecki’s daughter, Anna Gorecka, brings to mind the music of Steve Reich. If this disc is your first Gorecki experience begin with the Three Dances dating from 1973, the score in happy mood. The outstanding American flautist, Carol Wincenc, is the soloist in the Concerto-Cantata. Exceptionally wide-dynamic range sound. © 2012 David’s Review Corner

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