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Cat. No. CHAN 10778(2) Price: 10.5 No. of discs: 2
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CHAN 10778 - Dobrzynski: Symphony No. 2 etc.
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Available From: 18 April 2013
Dobrzynski: Symphony No. 2 etc.

The name of Ignacy Feliks Dobrzynski is still not well known outside his native Poland, but there was a time when he vied for attention in Warsaw’s musical circles with his near-contemporary Fryderyk Chopin who went on to become the country’s most famous composer. The career of Chopin flourished after he left Poland. Dobrzynski on the other hand remained in Warsaw and saw his own compositional ambitions thwarted by the difficulty of working in Russian-occupied Poland.

The works on these discs date from a time when Dobrzynski was a young man. He was only seventeen when, in 1824, he wrote his Piano Concerto. With this work Dobrzynski followed in the footsteps of composers such as Hummel and Field, associated with the style brillant, but made more than a passing nod to Weber and to late eighteenth-century idioms.

The Second Symphony followed in 1834. Revising the symphony much later, Dobrzynski wrote a new slow movement for the piece in 1862, and it is in this version that the symphony has since been performed. Uniquely, both slow movements are included on this disc. The tone that Dobrzynski adopted for the music is urgent and impassioned, probably a reflection of the occupied and divided Poland of the 1830s.

Dobrzynski considered the opera Monbar, or The Filibusters his masterpiece. Setting a pirate tale, the work displays plenty of orchestral swashbuckling, offering throughout clearly depicted themes, such as tropical storms, fighting, love, and, of course, treason. The opera had to wait twenty-five years for its complete premiere, under the composer’s baton, in Warsaw, in January 1863. Even then the opera only had three performances before the break-out two weeks later of the January Uprising, a Polish protest against the occupying forces. Monbar was subsequently shelved and not heard again until a concert performance in Warsaw in 2010.

Lukasz Borowicz was appointed Artistic Director of the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Warsaw in 2007; he has appeared as a guest conductor with orchestras including the Konzerthausorchester in Berlin, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Russian National Philharmonic Orchestra, and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. The Polish-born pianist Emilian Madey is also active as a composer, conductor, and lecturer at the Chopin University of Music in Warsaw.

Reviews

 "...The orchestra is outstanding, led by a conductor who has no inhibitions about delivering a full dynamic range, crisp articulation, and meticulous attention to rhythmic accuracy."
Robert Marlow - Fanfare - January/February 2014

"... there’s no question this is worth having, especially as Chandos gives you both Dobrzynski’s original slow movement for the symphony and the one he substituted for it. One wonders if any other Dobrzynski symphonies exist in playable form, as more from this source would be most welcome."
Steven J Haller - American Record Guide - September/October 2013

“... Emilian Madey is a fine pianist ... When it gets the chance, the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra provides plenty of fire. Madey projects the cantabile of the central Andante espressivo perfectly, and even provides his own expert cadenza for the tremendously driven finale.”
 
Colin Clarke – International Piano magazine – September/October 2013

"...The performances are good throughout. Some really imaginative conjunctions ... There is certainly something of worth here ..." 
 
Jonathan Woolf - MusicWeb-International.com - August 2013

“...Madey plays with bravura in the Concerto, and the Polish Radio Orchestra obviously loves to show the world there are hidden treasures in their native music libraries. A good recording supports the case for this forgotten composer.”   ****
Marius Dawn – Pianist magazine – August/September 2013

“...This pair of discs from the Polish Radio Symphony under Lukasz Borowicz provides a valuable introduction to the music of a composer who may hardly be known outside Poland nowadays, but who on this evidence deserves much more exposure... It’s a very convincing early romantic symphony that’s well worth a place in the repertoire, while the overture is striking enough to suggest that the whole of the opera would be well worth investigating.”  ****
 
Andrew Clements – The Guardian – 12 July 2013 

Interpretation *****       Sound ******       Repertoire *****
Burkhard Schäfer – Piano News magazine (Germany) – July/August 2013

“...It’s engagingly tuneful [Symphony No 2] , soundly constructed and unashamedly home-grown in flavour ... The music-making on this enterprising Chandos twofer brings no cause for complaint. Emilian Madey proves an uncommonly deft and sympathetic soloist in the concerto, and Lukasz Borowicz draws some nicely turned and consistently bright-eyed playing from the Polish Radio SO. The sound, too, is very good...”
 
Andrew Achenbach – Gramophone magazine – July 2013     
 

“... this is a highly listenable Symphony, and the whole concert most recommendable at Chandos’s two-for-one price.”

Michael Round – International Record Review – June 2013

 “...The music on a new two-CD set from Chandos was written in his [Dobrzynski’s] earlier years and includes a fine piano concerto played here by Emilian Madey and his 2nd Symphony (Characteristic), the programme opening with the Overture Monbar or The Filibusters, a bright tuneful piece ... he is a fine composer ... this music is a significant discovery.”

Peter Spaull – Liverpool Post – May 2013

 

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