ANDRZEJ PANUFNIK (1914-1991): Symphonic Works, Vol. 6 - Sinfonia di Speranza (Symphony No. 9), Concertino for Timpani, Percussion and Strings.
Catalogue Number: 08P008
Reference: 777 685-2
Description: Panufnik rose to the challenge of the Ninth Symphony - commissioned by the same organization that started the trouble by commissioning Beethoven's, if you please - with one of his most impressive symphonic canvases. Combining, as was frequently the composer's wont, the structuring of a large-scale piece according to rigorous geometrical principles, thus ensuring a superbly satisfying architectural form, with a profound spiritual or philosophical message, the Sinfonia di speranza consists of twelve arcs, or arch-form sections. These are based on the composer's customary motivic cells, exhaustively repeated, reworked and transformed. The arch of the rainbow also adds a dimension of color, with warm colors representing the hope of the symphony's title, while cold ones suggest doubt and despair, thus introducing an opposing axis to the musical argument and providing the dramatic sense of conflict around the pivotal central keystone of the arch of the work as a whole. The trademark pulsating fanfares, long drawn-out achingly lovely hymns, exhilaratingly propulsive rhythms and incandescent, highly directional tonal harmony, are all gratifyingly present, making this a fitting apotheosis of Panufnik's late career. The appealing little Concertino explores unusual timbres and expressive qualities of percussion instruments in five short, contrasting movements that encapsulate in miniature many of the composer's characteristic forms and gestures. Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra; Lukasz Borowicz.