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David Hurwitz, August 2016

Throughout, a consistently elevated standard of craftsmanship is very evident, and these performances under Mariusz Smolij are both confident and devoted.

…fine playing, fine sound, fine music. Recommended. © 2016 Read complete review

Göran Forsling
MusicWeb International, August 2015

It is good that Naxos now features the music of Grażyna Bacewicz with this excellent recording. …the present disc is a recommendable starting-point for a broader appreciation of the art of one of the foremost representatives of “the Polish wonder”. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, May 2015

The Capella Bydgostiensis…with Smolij, perform these works with assurance, and with sympathy for the composer’s musical personality… © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, December 2014

Smolij and the Capella come through with interpretations of great dash and panache, plus a sensitivity toward the brittle lyric qualities that also set Bacewicz off as something special.

This is prime Bacewicz, done with the spirit the music demands. It is an excellent recording. Highly recommended! © 2014 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Mark Sealey
Classical Net, December 2014

Both the Symphony and Concerto for string orchestra are played with a persuasive blend of diligence and poise.

The detachment, the neutrality almost, of the concerto grosso style which Bacewicz adopts is picked up willingly and stylishly by the ensemble throughout the CD. …the achievement of Smolij and the Capella Bydgostiensis Chamber Orchestra is to play without smothering the potential for sensitivity on which the the music is predicated, however obliquely. It’s a subtle balance which is by and large arrived at successfully.

Bacewicz’ first Piano Quintet is here arranged for string orchestra by Smolij. Kupiec’s playing is firm, confident, commanding. Both she and the Capella Bydgostiensis Chamber Orchestra play the music with style and sympathy. © 2014 Classical Net Read complete review

Norman Lebrecht
Sinfini Music, November 2014

…these are fine performances by the Capella Bydgostiensis. © 2014 Sinfini Music Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2014

Residing in that era between the final flowering of Szymanowski and the new world of Penderecki, came a group of Polish composers that included Grażyna Bacewicz. Torn between her desire to compose and the financial necessity of life as an orchestral musician, she had two student periods in Paris, the first with Nadia Boulanger. Returning to Poland, the years of the Second World were difficult, though she was still productive as a composer, before returning to the stage as a solo violinist. In the 1950’s her presence at the first International Festival of Contemporary Music initiated a fundamental change to her style of composition, that change brought to an early end with her death in 1969 at the age of sixty. If the First Piano Quintet is indicative of her final period, her change was progressive rather than belonging to the revolution headed by Penderecki. Indeed throughout these three works spanning the period 1946 to 1952, we find a composer gently nudging tonality forward. There are moments of harmonic pungency in the Symphony from 1946, but it goes no further than Bartók in his most listener-friendly mode, the final Theme and Variations, a short masterpiece in the use of strings. Two years later and her Concerto for Strings intentionally looks back to the Baroque era, and emerges as Poland’s equivalent to Grieg’s Holberg Suite. Apart from filling this disc, I am not sure why the conductor of the disc, Mariusz Smolij, felt the need to make a string chamber orchestra version of the First Piano Quintet, though it has certainly stimulated a burning desire to hear this imposing score in its original guise. Throughout he obtains dedicated performances from the fine regional Polish ensemble in very good sound. One of my top discs of the month. © 2014 David’s Review Corner

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