Classical Music Sentinel
, June 2012
Polish composer Eugeniusz Morawski…is…an unjustly overlooked and neglected composer. Therefore, any new or subsequent recordings, including this new release on the Polish CD Accord label, can only offer but a glimpse at this fascinating composer, but what a revelatory glimpse it turns out to be nonetheless.
…Don Quichotte… is writ large, with bold and vivid colors, unfurling its complex thematic material in an innovative and impressive fashion. Its orchestration is assured and always serves the mood of the music at any given moment. The episodes depicting when Don Quichotte’s imagination got the better of him, indicate a composer ahead of his time and in complete control of his craft, pointing the way to music’s future.
The other two symphonic poems, Ulalume and Nevermore, are both based on the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, and therefore by default expose a less flamboyant side of the composer, though no less creative…Ulalume clearly demonstrates that Morawski was more than capable at molding and developing subjects and motifs over extended stretches of time, without having to resort to repetitive duplication. Nevermore, based on The Raven, opens with a lugubrious, lower register fugue. Various episodes follow where again the main focus of the music is never out of reach. Like the other pieces, this one is built around a very confident harmonic language, rich in late 19th century romantic imagery, as seen through a 20th century lens.
Many thanks must go to conductor Monika Wolinska, the first Polish female conductor to grace the stage of Carnegie Hall in 2009, for pulling this music out of the shadows and in doing so, rescuing this brilliant composer from the jaws of oblivion. The members of Sinfonia Varsovia also deserve commendations for taking part in this milestone, and establishing the benchmark rendition of these orchestral works for future musicians to emulate. © 2012 Classical Music Sentinel Read complete review