KRZYSZTOF PENDERECKI (b.1933): Violin Sonatas No. 1 and No. 2, 3 Miniatures, WITOLD LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913-1994): Subito, Recitativo e arioso, Partita.
Catalogue Number: 02U046
Description: These two major figures in Polish contemporary music's limited output for this combination of instruments sheds fascinating light on both their development as composers and the cultural world surrounding them. Penderecki's First Sonata from 1953 is a startlingly neoclassical work in an abrasively tonal language, but by six years later he was already using a largely atonal idiom, with some sonorous extended techniques. The sonorist effects of his most famous period largely bypassed the chamber music genre, and the next work for violin and piano is the 1999 Second Sonata, an expansive five-movement score, chromatically tonal, with many echoes of Shostakovich and even Mahler. Composed on the brink of the millennium, the work is full of anxiety, which occasionally flares up into terror, the composer not having forgotten his avant garde credentials, with thick quadruple stopping and forearm clusters; however, for the most part the work presents a cogent musical argument in traditional musical terms, and the whole forms an emotionally gripping and tightly argued structure. In some respects, this work resembles Lutoslawski's lean, focused Partita from 1984, which is also highly emotionally charged and largely composed in the very extended tonality of the Piano Concerto from a few years later, with very limited use of aleatoric writing. Michael Foyle (violin), Maksim Štšura (piano).