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Paderewski: Piano Concerto, Polish Fantasy, Etc / Wit, Et Al


Release Date: 01/25/2000 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8554020   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ignace Jan Paderewski
Performer:  Janina Fialkowska
Conductor:  Antoni Wit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Ignacy Paderewski's Piano Concerto belongs with the finest works of Romantic nationalism, right up there with the similar works of Grieg, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninov. The reasons for its comparative neglect are simply unfathomable: it has great tunes, is very well orchestrated, and sounds like a blast to play. The Polish Fantasy is equally attractive, and would make a very welcome change of pace in concert from the endless parade of Paganini Rhapsodies and other such warhorses. The principal competition for this new release comes from Koch, where Eva Kupiec and conductor Hugh Wolff turn in lyrical, affecting performances of both works (there's also a Hyperion disc that I find comparatively uninteresting). Janina Fialkowska has more steel Read more in her tone, and plays both works with less "Chopin" and more "Prokofiev" than her compatriot, and this suits the music, which is vintage turn-of-the-century stuff, very well. I find her approach particularly compelling in the finale of the concerto where her firm articulation and slightly more relaxed tempo gives the music more strength of purpose and direction than does Kupiec. Naxos also includes a bonus in the form of the rarely heard Overture, and Antoni Wit's conducting is easily as fine as Wolff's. My one reservation concerns the recording: the tone of piano becomes somewhat clattery in the keyboard's upper octaves, and this is particularly noticeable in the final measures of the concerto's outer movements, where Paderewski really piles on the treble. It's a small drawback in what is otherwise a highly recommendable enterprise.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 17 by Ignace Jan Paderewski
Performer:  Janina Fialkowska (Piano)
Conductor:  Antoni Wit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Poland 
Date of Recording: 1997-98 
Venue:  Polish Radio Symphony Concert Hall 
Length: 33 Minutes 44 Secs. 
2.
Polish Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 19 by Ignace Jan Paderewski
Performer:  Janina Fialkowska (Piano)
Conductor:  Antoni Wit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1889 
Date of Recording: 1997-98 
Venue:  Polish Radio Symphony Concert Hall 
Length: 21 Minutes 2 Secs. 
3.
Overture by Ignace Jan Paderewski
Conductor:  Antoni Wit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 01/1998 
Venue:  Polish Radio Symphony Concert Hall 
Length: 9 Minutes 45 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Heroic Works May 9, 2017 By owen  ryan (lakewood, CA) See All My Reviews "Paderewski was an internationally famous virtuoso pianist, a composer, promoter of Poland's independence, and politician in the newly independent Poland. He influenced President Woodrow Wilson to include Polish independence in the 1918 Peace Terms. So, he was not only a virtuoso pianist-composer but also a hero for the Polish people. Addtionally, he was known as an international philantrophist. His Piano Concerto is among the best works of Romantic Nationalism and his Fantasy and Overture are equally fine works in their own right. That these works are so little known today is an inexplicable mystery. Conductor Antoni Wit, the Polish National Radio Orchestra and Pianist Janina Fialkowska give a beautiful, engaging and emotionally emphatic performance of these works. This disc carries my strongest recommendation." Report Abuse
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