PAWEŁ ŁUKASZEWSKI (b.1968): Musica profana 2 - Piano Quintet, Concertino for Piano and Brass, Souvenir II and Nocturne for Solo Piano, Aria for Cello and Piano, Songs: Hidden Truth, Passage, 8 Songs for Children.
Catalogue Number: 08U066
Description: Everything we said about volume 1 in this series two years ago (07S077) also applies to this most appealing disc: "We all know what Łukaszewski sounds like in his large, opulent orchestral and choral works; his accessible yet individual brand of neo-romanticism and fondness for ostinato-driven propulsive rhythms. So how is he in smaller forms? Very recognisably the same composer. The repeating gestures are here, forming rippling song accompaniments or propulsive ostinati in the piano works and solo piano parts of ensemble pieces; the beautiful melodic contours are the same, as is the sumptuous, modally inflected tonal harmony." The Concertino belies its modest scale by sounding like a bigger piece than it is in every way, with towering brass sonorities and flowing, minimalistic piano figuration; it isn't difficult to imagine this impressive piece expanded into a concerto for piano and full wind orchestra. The Piano Quintet's first two movements and finale are serious and neo-romantic, while the scherzo, inexplicably, sounds like a humorous piece of cartoon Chinoiserie. The song cycles, like those on the previous album, are straightforwardly melodic and lovely, in neo-romantic vein. Anna Mikołajczyk-Niewiedział (soprano), Robert Gierlach (baritone), Joanna Citkowicz (cello), Wojciech Świetoński (piano), NOSTADEMA String Quartet, TROMBASTIC (Brass) Sextet.