TADEUSZ PACIORKEWICZ (1916-1998): Violin Concerto, Concerto for 2 Violins and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 07X044
Description: Two fine concerti that broadly conform to the conventions of the Romantic virtuoso vehicle, composed in the tonality-based vocabulary of the 20th century mainstream. Chromatic, yet with well established tonal centres, both works are thoroughly approachable and warmly expressive. The Violin Concerto is the more neo-romantic of the two, with sumptuous late-romantic harmony the dominant idiom; in places its extreme chromaticism recalls the Berg, though traces of Sibelian writing as well as earlier Romantic antecedents are also tangentially evident. After an opening section redolent of turn of the (20th) century dark-hued sensuousness, the first movement becomes more agitated, with an increasingly militaristic aspect. The music relaxes somewhat, while retaining a sense of tension, which leads into an extensive, emotionally wide-ranging cadenza, and the movement ends with a brief military flourish. The slow movement is unequivocally funeral music, funeral of sobbing descending figures and a long, eloquently grieving violin solo. The lively finale is a rondo with the constant semiquaver motion of a Baroque concerto finale, and a lighter, playful mood in contrast to the previous movements. Almost three decades separate the two works, but Paciorkiewicz's idiom is remarkably consistent. The double concerto places the soloists in dialogue with each other, and frequently with "chamber music" groups within the orchestra. Several short, memorable thematic motifs form the basis of much of the first movement's material, while the orchestra periodically interrupts with snatches of military music, making much use of percussion. The very tonal slow movement similarly contrasts eloquent lyrical sections suggestive of Romantic legend with violent percussive outbursts. The finale begins with jaunty triumphal marches, and a lively discussion between the soloists and elements of the orchestra, like a garrulous crowd watching a parade. In the final section the music tries to become more serious and reflective, undermined by the increasingly bombastic march and some fairground antics, leading to a raucously triumphant conclusion. Szymon Telecki (violin), Tadeusz Gadzina (second violin), Huberman Philharmonic Częstochowa; Adam Klocek.