Sunday, July 15, 2012

Penderecki: Violin Concerto Nos. 1 and 2

"These are knock-out performances. Antoni Wit hasn't had a superstar career, but I like him better than at least some of the current Big Deals. He knows how to bring out the emotion behind the notes without stepping over into wallowing. He allows the music to retain its architectural shape. You always know where in the piece you are. Neither performance is a "read-through." The Poles play with an incisiveness born of great familiarity. Kulka is a solid, even elegant soloist...Chee-Yun in the second gets sparks to fly. You can take her intonation for granted, but not her big, heroic tone and incredible rhythm. She may very well become the next violin superstar...One of Naxos's best.", June 2003

"Full marks to Naxos for being the first company to couple the two concertos. Chee-Yun can boast of having performed the work on several occasions with the composer during a celebrated tour a few years back, and it shows here with what is by any standards an engrossing, masterly performance...Konstanty Kulka proves no less persuasive or technically adroit in the First Concerto, enhanced by a first-rate accompaniment and atmospheric recording, with the soloist gently spot-lit." --The Strad, July 2003

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