Lukasz Borowicz / Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Andrzej Panufnik: Symphonic Works, Vol. 1 - Nocturne

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The six pieces on this program have not been recorded often. Prior to the release of this disc, the Heroic Overture had three recordings; the Nocturne had two; the Tragic Overture, the Katyn Epitaph, and Harmony had one recording apiece; and A Procession for Peace has never been recorded before. But all of them are magnificently played here. Lukasz Borowicz and the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra give everything they've got to the music, and the result is not only wholly compelling from start to finish, it easily outclasses virtually all previous performances of these pieces. Each work here, while characteristic of the composer, is distinctive. The Tragic Overture is stark and relentless, the Nocturne is dark and sinister, the Heroic Overture is mighty and majestic, the Katyn Epitaph is harsh and demanding, and Harmony is smooth, sleek and silky, while the world-premiere A Procession for Peace turns out to be a powerful tonal march with brass and percussion well to the fore. Thus, any fan of Panufnik should by all means try this disc, and any fan of postwar modernism probably should, too. CPO's digital sound is cool but clear.

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