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The filigree tapestry of colours and swiftly contrasting moods of lively vigour and reflective romance are managed well in this recording by a rewarding partnership between Russian soloist Ilya Kaler and Polish conductor Antoni Wit. This, a lively and technically challenging glimpse into the first concerto [listen -- track 3, 0:15-0:45] contrasts well with a magical moment, comparable to similar arresting points in Brahms and Mendelssohn, where wandering attention might suddenly be brought to heel with something that makes the spine tingle [listen -- track 4, 4:26-5:53].

The second concerto, an equal in rhapsodic passion and mischievous wit, is given an equally sympathetic performance, even if in its turbulent ending the soloist becomes momentarily lost in orchestral conflicts before a direct extrovert close [listen -- track 9, 4:08-5:18].

Shortly before the first concerto, Szymanowski wrote a Spanish flavoured Tarantella for his friend, giving it a Nocturne as a companion later. Fitelberg, who outlived them both, orchestrated the two pieces in 1950, and Antoni Wit includes them on this disc.

Copyright © 27 September 2007 Patric Standford, Wakefield UK


Szymanowski: Violin Concertos Nos 1 and 2

8.557981 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE 60'12" 2007 Naxos Rights International Ltd

Ilya Kaler, violin; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra; Antoni Wit, conductor

Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937): Violin Concerto No 1 Op 35 (completed 1916) (Vivace assai; Tempo comodo - Andantino; Vivace scherzando; Poco meno - Allegretto; Vivace (Tempo I)); Violin Concerto No 2 Op 61 (1932-3) (Moderado - Molto tranquillo; Andantino sostenuto; Allegramente - Molto energico; Andantino - Molto tranquillo); Nocturne and Tarantella Op 28 (1915) (orchestrated by G Fitelberg) (Nocturne - Lento assai; Tarantella: Presto appassionato)


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