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Stephen Estep
American Record Guide, July 2017

The orchestra plays well, and Steffens is a fine conductor… © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Marc Rochester
MusicWeb International, May 2017

The major work on the disc is the Fourth Symphony, subtitled Sinfonia Concertante, but which is, to all intents and purposes, a fully-fledged piano concerto. Szymanowski wrote the work for himself to play and called it a Symphony to disguise his shortcomings as a concerto soloist. Ewa Kupiec is the fleet-fingered soloist, delivering the almost Ravelian delicacy of the first movement with a refreshingly light touch supported by the kind of clear-textured orchestration which seems such a feature of Szymanowski. Even as the movement builds up to its great climax, the feeling of delicacy and suppleness Kupiec brings to the performance is never lost, and Karl-Heinz Steffens seems to have an instinctive feel for the balance which comes across even when the recording engineers have done little to assist. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Gavin Dixon
Fanfare, May 2017

Everything in this work is about color and life, but within tight stylistic and dramatic confines, and Steffens and his orchestra give the music its due in a sprightly and engaging performance.

…the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz comes across as a proficient and versatile ensemble, the string sound a little bland, but the technical standards impressive throughout. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Barry Forshaw
Classical CD Choice, February 2017

The first few bars of Szymanowski’s Concert Overture will have the listener convinced that they are hearing a little-known tone poem by Richard Strauss, but many composers were under the German master’s influence. The piece enjoys an exhilarating performance here, coupled with an intelligent and sympathetic reading of the Fourth Symphony, which is much more in the characteristic refulgent Szymanowski style. The composer’s earliest works were clearly influenced by the late Romantic style, but, halfway through the First World War, he became particularly attracted to Impressionism. From then on he remained committed to tonality, but pushed it to its very limits with lush, seductive blazes of colour that find their closest parallels in the music of Alexander Scriabin, attested to by this recording. © 2017 Classical CD Choice





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