RAUL KOCZALSKI (1885-1948): Piano Concertos, Vol. 1 - Piano Concertos No. 1 in B Minor, Op. 79 and No. 2 in G, Op. 83.
Catalogue Number: 01T001
Label: Acte Préalable
Description: If you know this name at all it’s because you’re a collector of historical pianists. Koczalski was one of those prodigies who make their debuts on stage at the age of four and he studied under Karol Mikuli, one of Chopin’s last students. He became known as a Chopin specialist and various recordings of his Chopin have appeared from Polish and U.S. labels. But he also wrote six (!) piano concertos, two symphonies, other concertos and a lot of chamber and solo piano works - 150 works with opus numbers alone! The first concerto probably dates to the first half of the 1900s and opens spectacularly with a gong crash followed by a full-orchestra plus piano rising flourish that ends with deafening percussion. So Koczalski has your attention... Both this and the c.1914 second concerto are models of what Romantic piano concerto collectors most want: non-stop melody, open-hearted and expansive emotional quality, plenty of display opportunities for the soloist but nothing cheap or meretricious. Chopin and Polish folk music are strong presences in the First but the Second already partakes of a broader European late Romanticism. Acte Préalable plainly intends to record all the piano concertos; dare one hope for the symphonies also? Joanna Ławrynowicz (piano), Subcarpathian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra “Artur Malawski”, Rzesów; Massimiliano Caldi.