Winner – Congratulations!
The violinist Piotr Pławner received on March 8 the Fryderyk Award, the highest Polish Music Prize, for his recording of the two violin concertos by Emil Młynarski with the Philharmonic Orchestra Łódż (Dux).
Another prize was awarded to the compilation “100 Years of Polish Music” (PWM) with the Symphony No. 4 by Grażyna Bacewicz, recorded by Ewa Strusińska and the Sinfonia Varsovia.
New recording from Piotr Plawner on the label DUX: violin concertos by Emil Młynarski
Emil Młynarski (1870 – 1935) was the founding father of Polish musical life in the 20th century. As the first conductor of the new Warsaw Philharmonic (1901), he became legendary as a conductor and teacher, and also as a composer and violinist. His two violin concertos have now been recorded by Piotr Pławner with the Artur Rubinstein Philharmonie Łodz (Młynarski also happened to be Rubinstein’s father-in-law). This is another of Piotr Pławner‘s tireless recording activity in favour of little-known but highly impressive treasures of the music of his Polish homeland. Available at:
Tosca in Görlitz – on February 22nd, 2020 – an irresistible attraction for the public
The new production of Puccini’s „Tosca“ at the Gerhart Hauptmann Theater Görlitz/Zittau aroused real enthusiasm in the audience. Jens Daniel Schubert wrote in the Sächsische Zeitung of February 24: „In this opera, Ewa Strusińska is totally in her element. She plunges entirely into the music and irresistibly leads the way for the singers and orchestra“.
„Richly composed work“ – Shao-Chia Lü at the Staatsorchester Oldenburg on Feb. 2 and 3, 2020
After concerts in Macau and Taipei, Shao-Chia Lü was back in Germany for two concerts with the Staatsorchester Oldenburg. Besides Ravel’s „Ma mère l’oye“ and the trombone concerto by Henri Tomasi with soloist Frederic Belli, Lü had chosen a rarity for the program: the Suite for orchestra No. 3 by Piotr Tchaikovsky.
Horst Hollmann wrote on NWZonline (Feb. 3, 2020): „Everything was worth it because of the music and its rendering. The guest conductor Shao-Chia Lü, Music Director of the Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra and previously in the same position with important orchestras in Germany, expressly wished to conduct this richly composed work in Oldenburg. Lü is a man of inspiring, elegantly circular movements, with which he and the orchestra advance through a score of enormously dynamic and many-coloured depths and breadths. The result is a wonderful balance between the sound as a whole and the solo passages. … Earlier on in the concert, ‚Ma Mère l’oye‘ – also a suite – proved how successful exceptionally filigrane and fine-tuned form can be.
Philip Glass and Piotr Pławner at Naxos
After many years, a new recording of Philip Glass‘s second violin concerto „The American Four Seasons“ was released this month on the label Naxos. The concerto evokes the Baroque spirit of early 18th-century violin tradition. Piotr Pławner who has been performing the music of Philip Glass‘ for over 10 years now, says: „In my opinion, ‚The American Four Seasons‘ is one of the most significant works of recent years. I feel increasingly connected with the very unique meditative energy of this music“. He is accompanied by the Bern Chamber Orchestra under Philippe Bach and for the violin sonata – also on the recording – by pianist Gerardo Vila.
Ewa Strusińska: „Meyerbeer de luxe“ – Shao-Chia Lü: Triumphal return to Hannover
We celebrated two events on November 16:
The Gerhart-Hauptmann-Theater Görlitz presented an operatic rarity for its first premiere of the season: Giacomo Meyerbeer’s Dinorah. Long and loud applause for what was immediately proclaimed „the opera experience of the year“. „Grandiose and thrilling“, „Meyerbeer de luxe“: that is how the critics summed up their description of this „irresistibly seductive“ music as performed by the Neue Lausitzer Philharmonie under its Music Director Ewa Strusińska.
Shao-Chia Lü, the former Music Director of the Staatsoper Hannover, returned to town for a guest appearance, conducting the orchestra of the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in works by Mendelssohn, Schubert, Debussy and Ravel. Günter Helms wrote in the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung:“ Exalting, poetic, with sounds becoming pictures, glowing and sparkling: that was Debussy’s La Mer and Ravel’s 2nd Suite from Daphnis et Chloé. And no less exalting were the ovations which followed for Shao-Chia Lü, the orchestra and its soloists.“
Mahler’s 9th in Görlitz: great things happened
„For the beginning of the new concert season, the audience in the Görlitz theatre clearly sensed that something special was going to happen: something supernatural instead of pleasant orchestral optimism. At the end, the applause began gradually and then grew and grew. Music Director Ewa Strusińska challenged her Neue Lausitzer Philharmonie – and herself – in one of the key works of music history and made great things happen.
Strusińska saw to it that the musical flow, right from the first movement on, would not be smooth[…]. Arches of tension, charged with energy, stopped and collapsed, as if Death itself had made its presence known. In the Rondo movement, the brass glowed and blinded in its fierce light, and the Adagio finale already began to shine in. The conductor opened this long movement in all of its breadth, with great calm and at the same time with the greatest intensity, making fragility itself audible. The vast harmonics, pushed to their extremities, had a direct emotional and liberating impact. Utter silence followed the last sounds“.
Karsten Blüthgen, Sächsische Zeitung, Sept. 12, 2019
Now available! Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas with Dvořák – and Piotr Pławner with Moniuszko
Following his successful recording of Beethoven‘s cello sonatas with pianist Christopher Park, Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas – one of the noblest Spanish cellists (Arturo Reveter) – has now released on the label lbs his recording of works for cello and orchestra by Dvořák, together with the Magdeburgische Philharmonie conducted by Kimbo Ishii. Along with the famous concerto in B minor appear the Rondo in G minor, Silent Woods and the transcription of a Dvořák song.
The Polish violinist Piotr Pławner – always on the lookout for fascinating rarities – presents his latest discoveries with his quartet on the label cpo. The father of Polish song and Polish opera, Stanisław Moniuszko, celebrates his 200th birthday this year. He also wrote two string quartets, full of humour, irresistible melodies and compositional subtleties. And here is another surprise: the piano quintet by Juliusz Zarębski, Franz Liszt’s favourite student and musical confidant.