ANDRZEJ PANUFNIK (1914-1991): Heroic Overture, Sinfonia de Sfere, Landscape, Sinfonia Sacra.
Catalogue Number: 09J009
Reference: ODE 1101-5
Description: The most unfamiliar work here is the haunting Landscape of 1962, which rises from misty, mysterious beginnings to swell into a melancholy yet vividly drawn depiction of a remembered landscape from the composer's past in Poland, or an English one encountered after his exile. It has somewhat in common with the second 'vision' - given to the strings - or the final 'Hymn' in the Sinfonia sacra, which followed a couple of years later. The two iconic symphonies given here represent the compositional characteristics for which Panufnik is best known and justly celebrated. Sinfonia di sfere is organised according to complex equations of form and proportion, but these remain in the 'composer's workshop' for the most part; one is aware of intervallic cells and rhythmic gestures obsessively reworked and transformed, but the overall effect of the work is one of mystical contemplation, disrupted on occasion by the dramatic effects of battling percussion groups - three of them spread across the stage a là Nielsen's Fourth. The contemplative and embattled visions and final affirmative peroration of Sinfonia sacra remain among Panufnik's most effective and emblematic inspirations. The early overture employs a patriotic theme but overlays it with Shostakovichian irony in recognition of the defeats suffered by Poland under Nazism and Communism. Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra; John Storgårds.