Jul 09

Ludomir Rozycki – Piano Concertos – Jonathan Plowright, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Lukasz Borowicz (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:03:08 minutes | 1,04 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: hyperion-records | Digital Booklet | © Hyperion Records

Ludomir Różycki, a composer who remains frustratingly obscure outside of his native Poland. On this exciting disc, pianist Jonathan Plowright is the soloist in Różycki’s three works for piano and orchestra, accompanied by Łukasz Borowicz leading the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. These pieces showcase a composer with an accomplished ear for instrumental color, whose late-nineteenth-century musical language responds to the horrors of two world wars with an irrepressible spirit.

Changes are you haven’t heard of Ludomir Różycki (1883-1953). He is forgotten not because he wrote inferior music, but because of the simple fact that there’s too much repertoire to discover in one’s lifetime, plus concert halls tend to present the same well-known works. For those looking for something new, Różycki offers a fascinating and rewarding world waiting to be discovered. This Polish composer wrote concertos for the super-virtuosos, scattering tunes, harmonies and brilliant orchestrations all over every page.

Jonathan Plowright and Lukasz Borowicz, ably abetted by the BBC Scottish Orchestra and the recording engineers, work the sort of magic associated with Sir Thomas Beecham in making the good second-rate sound first-rate: these are attractive performances of three works which span four decades but which all qualify as late-romantic, even the two concertos dating from the two World Wars. It seems hardly credible that such optimistic music as the second concerto could have been written when Różycki’s native Poland was under Nazi occupation. The second movement of Concerto No 1 is very moreish, as is the whole album.

Those new to this Hyperion’s “Romantic” series will be won over when they hear the formidable Jonathan Plowright tackle these original compositions.

01 – Ballade in G major, Op. 18 (1904)
02 – Piano concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 43 (1917-18) – I. Andante – Allegro
03 – Piano concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 43 (1917-18) – II. Andante con moto
04 – Piano concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 43 (1917-18) – III. Allegro giocoso
05 – Piano Concerto No. 2 (1941-42) – I. Moderato in tempo
06 – Piano Concerto No. 2 (1941-42) – II. Allegro giocoso

Produced by Jeremy Hayes. Engineered by David Hinitt & Mike Panayiotis.
Recorded in August 2014 at City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow, Scotland.

Jonathan Plowright – piano
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Conducted by Łukasz Borowicz.