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Piotr Plawner - BACEWICZ: Sonatas for Violin and Piano

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BACEWICZ: Sonatas for Violin and Piano

Grazyna Bacewicz

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In the business of summing up the resultant hierarchy of what matters most in twentieth century musical literature, the violin music of Grazyna Bacewicz might gain consideration only as representing rather exotic repertoire, and this shouldn't be so. Bacewicz was an expert violin soloist who was a well-known commodity in postwar Europe; she won the Olympic music competition in London in 1949, the UNESCO prize in 1960, and captured the Belgian Reine-Elisabeth prize three times. Bacewicz's compositional output for violin and piano is of the first tier and is exceptionally notable in that in stylistic terms it remains recognizably modern, but stands outside trends current in Bacewicz's time. The word neo-Classical is sometimes applied to describe it, and she did study with Nadia Boulanger, but this superficial evaluation suits Bacewicz's music rather uncomfortably; one could say it's vaguely like Bartók, but draws from Polish folk material and even that qualification only weakly describes its effect. It's energetic and a little showy in fast movements and expressive, yet a little cool, in slower ones, fits the violin like a glove, and always leaves a distinct impression. It is very important violin literature, and there's never been so much of it offered in a single-CD package as in this two-disc set from Hänssler Classic, Grazyna Bacewicz: Sonatas for Violin and Piano. Piotr Plawner is a young violinist who is, as Bacewicz was, a native of Lodz. Plawner adapts easily to the varied technical and expressive hurdles encountered in Bacewicz's violin music; he is hushed and mysterious in the early piece Witraz (Stained Glass Windows, 1932), dazzlingly propulsive in the Finale of the Sonata No. 2, and obviously enjoys such challenges as the leaps, pizzicato, and glissandi employed in Bacewicz's folk-like Two Oberki (1951). Plawner lavishes as much care on Bacewicz's lighter short pieces such as the Concertino (1945) -- which consists of three movements that take less than five minutes to play -- to weightier music as the five sonatas, all of which are included here. Occasional short pieces scattered throughout the program add depth to Bacewicz's violin output but do not betray any sense of forward development in her style, the essentials being the same whether the music comes from 1952 or 1932. The breaks between pieces are rather long and the recording is rather dry and a little on the quiet side. Pianist Ewa Kupiec, who does turn in a strong performance here (though one wonders how Plawner's regular piano partner, Krystian Zimerman, might have fared in this material) is credited everywhere on this above Plawner by Hänssler Classic. But make no mistake; he's the star of the show here. Everyone who enjoys twentieth century violin music owes it to themselves to discover Bacewicz' music, and this is a terrific option for it and the most generous in terms of programming. Nevertheless, it doesn't entirely supplant the excellent Chandos recording of some of this music by Joanna Kurkowicz and Gloria Chien; Kurkowicz is just as facile and exciting in the music, and the recording quality of the Chandos is better, which makes a difference.
© TiVo

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BACEWICZ: Sonatas for Violin and Piano

Piotr Plawner

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Partita (Grazyna Bacewicz)

1
I. Preludium: Grave
00:03:41

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

2
II. Toccata: Vivace
00:03:15

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

3
III. Intermezzo
00:02:26

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

4
IV. Rondo: Presto
00:03:08

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

Violin Sonata No. 5 (Grazyna Bacewicz)

5
I. Moderato
00:05:17

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

6
II. Nokturn: Andante dolcissimo
00:02:39

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

7
III. Finale: Allegro inquietamente
00:05:00

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

Humoreske (Grazyna Bacewicz)

8
Humoreske
00:02:41

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

Kołysanka (Lullaby) (Grazyna Bacewicz)

9
Kolysanka
00:02:22

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

Violin Sonata No. 4 (Grazyna Bacewicz)

10
I. Moderato
00:05:33

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

11
II. Andante ma non troppo
00:04:29

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

12
III. Scherzo: Molto vivace
00:03:26

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

13
IV. Finale: Con passione
00:05:39

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

Witraz (Grazyna Bacewicz)

14
Witraz
00:02:58

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

Violin Sonata No. 1, "da camera" (Grazyna Bacewicz)

15
I. Largo
00:02:26

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

16
II. Allegro
00:02:10

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

17
III. Tempo di minuetto
00:02:12

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

18
IV. Andante sostenuto
00:02:34

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

19
V. Gigue: Molto allegro
00:01:52

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

Melodia (Grazyna Bacewicz)

20
Melodia
00:02:58

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

DISC 2

Violin Sonata No. 3 (Grazyna Bacewicz)

1
I. Allegro moderato
00:04:43

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

2
II. Adagio
00:04:09

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

3
III. Scherzo: Vivo
00:03:20

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

4
IV. Finale: Andante
00:05:51

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

Violin Sonata No. 2 (Grazyna Bacewicz)

5
I. Allegro
00:03:30

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

6
II. Andante
00:04:03

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

7
III. Scherzo: Vivace
00:03:19

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

8
IV. Finale: Allegro molto
00:02:53

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

Oberek No. 1 (Grazyna Bacewicz)

9
Oberki No. 1: Presto
00:01:53

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

10
Oberki No. 2: —
00:02:33

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

Concertino (Grazyna Bacewicz)

11
I. Allegro moderato
00:01:11

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

12
II. Romance: Andante
00:02:01

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

13
III. Finale: Vivace
00:01:28

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

Capriccio (Grazyna Bacewicz)

14
Caprice
00:02:03

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

Theme with Variations (Grazyna Bacewicz)

15
Theme with Variations
00:07:17

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

3 Dances (Grazyna Bacewicz)

16
I. Mazovian Dance: Andante
00:02:57

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

17
II. Polish Dance: Sywo
00:02:10

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

18
III. Slavonic Dance: Andante
00:03:10

Grazyna Bacewicz, Composer - Ewa Kupiec, Artist - Piotr Plawner, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2006 SWR Classic (P) 2006 SWR Classic

Album Description

In the business of summing up the resultant hierarchy of what matters most in twentieth century musical literature, the violin music of Grazyna Bacewicz might gain consideration only as representing rather exotic repertoire, and this shouldn't be so. Bacewicz was an expert violin soloist who was a well-known commodity in postwar Europe; she won the Olympic music competition in London in 1949, the UNESCO prize in 1960, and captured the Belgian Reine-Elisabeth prize three times. Bacewicz's compositional output for violin and piano is of the first tier and is exceptionally notable in that in stylistic terms it remains recognizably modern, but stands outside trends current in Bacewicz's time. The word neo-Classical is sometimes applied to describe it, and she did study with Nadia Boulanger, but this superficial evaluation suits Bacewicz's music rather uncomfortably; one could say it's vaguely like Bartók, but draws from Polish folk material and even that qualification only weakly describes its effect. It's energetic and a little showy in fast movements and expressive, yet a little cool, in slower ones, fits the violin like a glove, and always leaves a distinct impression. It is very important violin literature, and there's never been so much of it offered in a single-CD package as in this two-disc set from Hänssler Classic, Grazyna Bacewicz: Sonatas for Violin and Piano. Piotr Plawner is a young violinist who is, as Bacewicz was, a native of Lodz. Plawner adapts easily to the varied technical and expressive hurdles encountered in Bacewicz's violin music; he is hushed and mysterious in the early piece Witraz (Stained Glass Windows, 1932), dazzlingly propulsive in the Finale of the Sonata No. 2, and obviously enjoys such challenges as the leaps, pizzicato, and glissandi employed in Bacewicz's folk-like Two Oberki (1951). Plawner lavishes as much care on Bacewicz's lighter short pieces such as the Concertino (1945) -- which consists of three movements that take less than five minutes to play -- to weightier music as the five sonatas, all of which are included here. Occasional short pieces scattered throughout the program add depth to Bacewicz's violin output but do not betray any sense of forward development in her style, the essentials being the same whether the music comes from 1952 or 1932. The breaks between pieces are rather long and the recording is rather dry and a little on the quiet side. Pianist Ewa Kupiec, who does turn in a strong performance here (though one wonders how Plawner's regular piano partner, Krystian Zimerman, might have fared in this material) is credited everywhere on this above Plawner by Hänssler Classic. But make no mistake; he's the star of the show here. Everyone who enjoys twentieth century violin music owes it to themselves to discover Bacewicz' music, and this is a terrific option for it and the most generous in terms of programming. Nevertheless, it doesn't entirely supplant the excellent Chandos recording of some of this music by Joanna Kurkowicz and Gloria Chien; Kurkowicz is just as facile and exciting in the music, and the recording quality of the Chandos is better, which makes a difference.
© TiVo

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