KRZYSZTOF HERDZIN (b.1970): Assertive Prelude for Strings, Non-Assertive Toccata for Strings, from Winter Sketches: Snowflakes and Penguins' Circus, Olender, Hopin' for Somethin' for Soprano Saxophone and Strings (Piotr Baron [sax]), Concertino for Piano and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 01P084
Description: This disc presents a portrait of a versatile composer who has been active in many, diverse areas of musicianship. The Prelude and Toccata owe not a little to Shostakovich, and are the most 'serious' in mood of the works here, which tend toward the lighter end of the spectrum, in a readily appealing and thoroughly accessible way. The two evocatively titled character pieces are similarly tonal, but in lighter mood, neo-romantic accompaniments to imaginary film scenes, relaxed nature-painting and a boisterous scherzo. Olender, a stylized fantasia on a traditional waltz-rhythm dance, is similarly attractive, with a lively, entertaining touch. Hopin' stems from the composer's work in the field of jazz; a soulful little concertante work, it combines gently melodic light 'crossover' material with opportunities for the soloist to improvise in jazz style. The Concertino is an attractive work, rather neoclassical with echoes of Shostakovich and Poulenc. The first movement is bouncily energetic, the second a serenely melodic reverie, and the finale a lively, jubilant quick waltz, with a sprightly, jazz-inflected cadenza. Krzysztof Herdzin (piano and conductor).