GRAŻYNA BACEWICZ (1909-1969): Piano Sonata No. 2, Little Triptych, Concert Krakowiak, Children’s Suite, 2 Etudes for Double Notes, 10 Concert Etudes, 3 pièces caractéristiques.
Catalogue Number: 06U057
Label: Piano Classics
Description: A nicely varied collection of Bacewicz' shorter piano pieces, receiving their world premiere recordings, plus the quarter-hour sonata, which we've had before. The composer’s range was very wide, and this recital traverses much of it, though only the tiny Little Triptych is anywhere near atonal. The major discographic gain here is the 10 Etudes, real concert works full of character, as the title suggests. Each explores a different technique, as these things do, with the composer’s complete understanding of the piano amply on display. The works are tonal, but full of harmonic ambiguity and a sense of being in orbit around, rather than tethered to, key centers, sometimes suggesting Busoni, sometimes Szymanowski. The Krakowiak is a virtuoso showpiece of pianistic flamboyance, in several sections with a fine sense of structure. The eight pieces that make up the Children’s Suite, though brief and entirely tonal, are delightful miniatures, by no means lacking sophistication or expressive character, in little dances, a march and a lullaby. The Pièces caractéristiquesare very different again, with a distinctly French feel (she did, after all, study with Boulanger in Paris between the wars). The tough, imposing and demanding Second Sonata, with its granitic first movement, central solemnly tolling lyrical lament and fiery folk-dance inflected toccata-finale completes the recital. Morta Grigaliūnaitė (piano).