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Dariusz Przybylski Works for Orchestra

Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra (2009)
Concerto for Flute, String Orchestra, Percussion and Electronic Sounds (2007)
Even stars cry with those who cry at night for String Orchestra and Percussion (2007)
Orchesterstück Nr. 2 for Symphony Orchestra (2009)

Jadwiga Kotnowska - flute, Aukso Chamber Orchestra - cond. Marek Moś, Sinfonia Iuventus - dyr. Krzysztof Słowiński, Janusz Wawrowski - violin

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This young multi-prizewinning Polish composer and organist (b. 1984) has enjoyed enviable success, with his music published in Berlin and culminating in this monographic CD which should help to make his name familiar abroad.

Both the concertos here make for absorbing listening and should be viable on the European concert circuit. Perhaps they might first be taken up by advanced conservatory students seeking new and challenging repertoire?

The violin concerto shows appreciation of various current idioms but it is not as unrelievedly "dismal" as the poorly written (? translated) notes suggest ! For the flute concerto - which is more virtuosic - Przybylski introduces electronics, and its central slow section makes recognisable reference to Josquin. The performances are all convincing and well recorded

We have been glad to make acquaintance with this keen explorer, whose prevailing style may yet emerge and become consolidated. One daunting hurdle, about which there is little he can do, is that many Polish names are hard for us to spell or to pronounce... Good luck, Dariusz!

Peter Grahame Woolf

Flute O’Clock

Bruno Maderna Dialodia (1972)
Edison Denisov Sonata for two flutes (1996)
Toru Takemitsu Masque (1959, 1961)
Yoshihisa Taira Synchronie (1986)
Diego Luzuriaga Tierra… tierra… (1992)

The Flute O’Clock duo (Karolina Balińska and Ewa Liebchen)

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Here is a brave initiative, which nearly succeeds. The contemporary repertoire chosen is at the least interesting, and some of the pieces, notably Taira's 16 minute Flute O’Clock, highly successful. But the ordering of the disc (roughly chronoligical) is a mistake and there is a serious problem which possibly may be laid at the door of the recording engineer.

Taira's work is brilliantly successful, with its mainly brief bursts of activity, and it encourages further exploration of his music (there is a 'corrected' version of Synchronie for flute and shakuhachi; one of our O'Clockists should take up that delicious instrument!).

And too the Ecuadoran Luzuriaga's is a name to look out for. He helps avoid listener fatigue by varying the texture with piccolo and alto flute.

But the famous composers are let down by the familiar pitfall of flute and recorder duos, the mysterious "difference tones" which can really hurt the ears when two of them sustain high notes together. Is there a way to minimise those in the recording studio, maybe by separating the two ore completely? Only audio engineering experts could tell us. And what is the experience when Flute O'Clock play live in recital, it would be interesting to know.

So, it might have been better to have track-listed this recital in reverse chronological order. Definitely recommended for flute departments (I shall give my copy to our local Trinity College of Music) but a note of caution to general collectors.

Peter Grahame Woolf