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Karl F. Miller
Fanfare, July 2019

While the performances of Kinga Augustyn are wonderful, I find them a bit too respectful of the printed page. For me, the music of the Fantasia, in particular, calls for a bit more rhythmic flexibility. She is a magnificent musician. One cannot fault her technique, yet I would like to hear more dynamic contrast and rubato in her playing. The Toruń Symphony Orchestra is a superb ensemble. The conducting of Smolij demonstrates that he is a most remarkable musician, capable of bringing great precision to the orchestra. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review



Terry Robbins
The WholeNote, May 2019

Augustyn’s playing is clear, warm and assured, untroubled in the technically challenging passages and with a flowing line in the many melodic sections. Orchestral support and recorded sound are both excellent. © 2019 The WholeNote Read complete review



Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, April 2019

Polish violinist Kinga Augustyn has in the past championed music by her countrymen and certainly makes a strong case for these four concertante works. She receives magnificent support from the Toruń Symphony Orchestra (TSO) under their music director Mariusz Smolij, who’s no stranger to these pages (see 31 August 2016). The latter also deliver a rousing account of the Serenade. There’s an overall lightness of touch in these performances that gives a clarity to this music… © 2019 Classical Lost and Found Read complete review



Robert Cummings
MusicWeb International, March 2019

Mariusz Smolij and the Toruń Symphony Orchestra offer more than just competent accompaniment, as they too adjust facilely to the wide-ranging styles Twardowski presents. In the Serenade, the one work not featuring Ms. Augustyn, the conductor and the orchestra’s string section deliver a vital and accurate performance. The sound reproduction is clear and well balanced in all works. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, February 2019

Mariusz Smolij conducts the Torun Symphony Orchestra with a sure hand and a complete conception of how the music should sound. The orchestra responds nicely.

…A big bravo to violinist Kinga Augustyn! © 2019 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review



Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, December 2018

Twardowski’s catchy and accessible music is, on this showing, likely to have audiences in the palm of his hand as much as Kapustin and the populist nationalist folk works of Svetlanov and Weinberg.

…The recordings, they are bright and bouncy. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, December 2018

The Lithuanian-born composer, Romuald Twardowski, has first class credentials, including time as a pupil of Nadia Boulanger, his name is still not widely known. Maybe the fact that he moved to Poland while still a young man has resulted in a vacuum of nationalist connectivity, and we must thank his adopted country for making the disc possible. It includes four works for violin and orchestra, including the three movement Violin Concerto composed in 2006 at the age of seventy six. Stylistically we find a composer locked into a tonality that was still in vogue in the early part of the 20th century. So for the inquisitive traditionalist, you will find nothing here that will be less than totally pleasing, the disc opening in Spain with two pictures of the country packaged in sultry heat and colourful seductive dances. It offers some juicy melodies for the soloist mingled with moments of brazen virtuosity. The Concerto is a much more sober score often in a rather forlorn mood, a feature that carries over to the central Andante, the scenario changing for a outgoing final Allegro. Niggunim seeks to preserve folk music of the Jewish culture in a small part of Poland, the violin cast as a solitary voice in a mood of improvisation set against a backdrop that develops into a dance rhythm. There is little Americana in Capriccio in Blue, but that, and the Serenade for string orchestra, are pieces of pure delight. The New York City-based violinist, Kinga Augustyn is obviously a very fine violinist, and my first encounter with the Torun Symphony Orchestra has been a most pleasing experience. Mariusz Smolij is the highly regarded and quite frequent name on the Naxos label. Well defined sound, and let us hope we shall meet Twardowski more often on disc. © 2018 David’s Review Corner



Records International, December 2018

Born in Vilnius and a student of Nadia Boulanger, Twardowski writes music which blends tradition and modernity. His writing for strings is consistently masterful, whether in the lyricism and capricious rhythms of the 2003 Serenade or the ‘new simplicity’ of the concerto of 2009. The Spanish Fantasia shows how deeply the composer absorbed flamenco music during a visit to Spain, while Niggunim (1991) explores authentic Hassidic Jewish melodies. Capriccio in Blue (1979) is a delightful and wholly original salute to George Gershwin. © 2018 Records International





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