New Panufnik Recordings

Panufnik & Lutosławski: String Quartets
Andrzej Panufnik: String Quartets Nos. 1-3 /Witold Lutosławski: String Quartet
Tippett Quartet
Naxos 8.573164 (August 2014)

2014 is the centenary year of Andrzej Panufnik and, while his orchestral music has received attention, his innovative string quartets remain neglected. Bittersweet harmonies characterise the First Quartet. The Second Quartet, whose subtitle ‘Messages’ refers to the mysterious sounds of telegraph poles vibrating in the wind, is notable for its motivic coherence and emotional intensity. The Third Quartet, subtitled ‘Wycinanki’, a reference to paper cutouts familiar in Polish rustic art, ends with one of Panufnik’s most moving statements. Lutosławski’s dramatic and experimental String Quartet was written when he was at the forefront of the European avant-garde. [from naxos.com

Reflections: the Solo Piano Works of Andrzej and Roxanna Panufnik
Andrzej PANUFNIK: Twelve Miniature Studies (1947, rev. 1955/64); Hommage à Chopin (1949, rev. 1955), arr. Roxanna Panufnik; Pentasonata (1984); Modlitwa [Prayer] (1990/99), arr. Roxanna Panufnik; Reflections (1968); Roxanna PANUFNIK: Second Home (2003, rev. 2006); Glo (2002)
Clare Hammond, piano
BIS-2003 (SACD, May 2014)

Andrzej Panufnik (1914-1991) once wrote ‘Music gets its eternal beauty from an ideal balance of emotion and intellect.’ Although Panufnik is primarily known as a composer of symphonies and large-scale orchestral pieces, his three original works for solo piano perfectly illustrate this credo. Spread out over almost four decades, they are all highly crafted, displaying the composer’s self-professed ‘life-long fascination’ with mirror forms and symmetrical patterns. In Panufnik’s music such workman-like, not to say cerebral, concerns never become a self-indulgence, however – although ordered according to the circle of fifths and a strict scheme in terms of dynamics and articulation, each of the Twelve Miniature Studies from 1947 has its own highly individual mood and expression, and although Pentasonata from 1984 in almost every aspect – metre, tonality and overall structure – is governed by the number five, the composer fully succeeds in his stated aim: ‘to achieve a balance between heart and mind, intellect and emotion’. The young British pianist Clare Hammond is greatly involved in events for the Panufnik Centenary in 2014, and has devised the present disc as her first release on BIS. For it, she has chosen to include two works that might be described as ‘posthumous collaborations’ between the composer and his daughter Roxanna Panufnik, herself an acclaimed composer. Modlitwa (‘Prayer’), originally a vocal piece, was one of Panufnik’s last compositions, which Roxanna expanded in 1999, and later has made instrumental arrangements of, the most recent one being for piano. Hommage à Chopin consists of arrangements for solo piano made in 2013 of three of the five vocalises for soprano and piano that Panufnik composed in 1949, based on folk music from the region of Mazowia, where Chopin was born. Polish folk music also appears in Roxanna Panufnik’s Second Home, which expresses her sentiments for her father’s Polish homeland. Second Home is complemented on this disc by another composition by Roxanna Panufnik, the brief and atmospheric Glo. [from www.bis.se]

Dreamscape: Songs and Trios by Andrzej & Roxanna Panufnik
Andrzej PANUFNIK: Love Song; Dreamscape; Piano Trio; Roxanna PANUFNIK: Mine Eye; Sweet Love Remember’d; That Mighty Heart; Virtue; Around Three Corners
Heather Shipp (mezzo); Subito Piano Trio
Signum SIGCD380 (May 2014)

A unique program of works by father and daughter. Sir Andrzej Panufnik was a leading Polish composer of the 20th Century, and his daughter Roxanna has made a name for herself in her own right as a contemporary composer in the 21st. This disc, programmed by Roxanna to combine works by both herself and her father, explores the parallels between their two musical languages and forms a touching tribute to Andrzej from his daughter. [from www.prestoclassical.co.uk]

[Sources: naxos.com, bis.se, prestoclassical.co.uk]