JERZY DERFEL (b.1941): Sonata in E Minor for Alto Saxophone and Strings, EDWARD SIELICKI (b.1956): Differentia specifica - Una fantasia quasi tango for Soprano Saxophone and String Orchestra, JACEK GRUDZIEN (b.1961): Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Strings, PAVEL MYKIETYN (b.1971): Sonatina für Alina, Anioly w Ameryce (arr. Jerzy Cembrzynski).
Catalogue Number: 06Q080
Description: Grudzień's attractive concerto is in a predominantly neoclassical idiom, with baroque ostinati, suspiciously 'looped' to approach minimalism, and in the central section some rather more romantic harmonies and a plaintive melodiousness that suggests something closer to music for film. The Sielicki begins with a highly decorated cadenza, harmonically ambiguous and refusing to make clear the direction the music will take. When the orchestra joins in, though, a firmer sense of tonality is established, with persistent recurrences of the tango rhythm, which never manages to conclusively assert itself as the music progresses through a variety of episodes, sometimes involving startling juxtapositions of styles and moods in a kind of multi-faceted scherzo-fantasy. Derfel's hugely appealing Sonata - a traditionally structured three-movement concerto in all but name - blends tongue-in-cheek romantic gestures, and genuinely gorgeous tonal harmony with a touch of jazzy spice and beguilingly sultry popular ballad idioms. Mykietin's ironic, off-kilter polystylism, based on what sound like samples of baroque music cut up and looped in entertainingly inappropriate ways or accompanied by brief, alarmingly modern gestures, as exemplified by the piano-based disc previously offered (10Q088), comes to the fore in the gleefully irreverent Sonatina. By contrast, the somber, eloquent aria, adapted from his incidental music for a production of Kushner's Angels in America by his frequent theatrical collaborator Krzysztof Warlikowski, could almost be extracted from an authentic baroque or early classical opera, a touchingly lovely, melodic piece. Baltic Neopolis Orchestra; Alina Mleczko (saxes).