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"Arthur Rubinstein" Philharmonic Orchestra from Łódz, conductor Pawel Przytocki - CD Review, February 2nd, 2023

Monday, 16 October 2023 , ora 12.00

"Arthur Rubinstein" Philharmonic Orchestra from Łódz, conductor Pawel Przytocki - CD Review, February 2nd, 2023

Polish romantic symphonies. Franciszek Mirecki - Scherzo from the Symphony in C minor; Józef Wieniawski - Symphony op. 49 in D major.

As part of the project "Discs of the year 2023" - an album released by the Polish house DUX Records, which includes 19th Century symphonies created by composers almost unknown today - Franciszek Mirecki and JózefWieniawski. The recordings were made in the summer of 2022, at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Lodz, by the "Arthur Rubinstein" Philharmonic Orchestra from the same city, one of the musical institutions with tradition in Poland, founded in 1915. In 2017, Pawel Przytocki, an experienced conductor, professor at the Academy of Music in Krakow, became the artistic director of the orchestra. Under his leadership, the "Arthur Rubinstein" Orchestra also recorded the recent album released in November 2022, which sheds light on the music of some forgotten Polish composers, who developed their careers in the romantic period, but were part of different generations: Franciszek Mirecki was active especially in the first part of the 19th Century, and JózefWieniawski lived in the period 1837-1912, having a more elaborate and modern compositional style than the first mentioned musician. I propose a Scherzo from the Symphony in C minor signed by Franciszek Mirecki, conductor, teacher and composer born in Krakow in 1791, a musician who worked in the cities of Vienna, Milan and Venice. In the last stage of his life, he was the director of the School of Dramatic Interpretation in Krakow. His symphony, preserved as a manuscript in the library of the University of Poznan, was published only in 1972, being presented in its absolute first audition by the Polish Broadcasting Orchestra, under the baton of Pawel Przytocki. The same musician later conducted this score several times, which he now offers us in the version recorded by the Lodz Philharmonic Orchestra. Therefore, a reference, vigorous and expressive interpretation of this symphony in C minor by Franciszek Mirecki.

On the same album - Symphony op. 49 from the creation of JózefWieniawski - pianist, conductor, composer and teacher, the younger brother of the famous violinist HenrykWieniawski. Although his life and work are not well known nowadays, it seems that Josef Wieniawski was an influential composer, being considered during his lifetime one of the most valuable musicians in Europe. His symphony in D major published in 1890 in Brussels, the city where the composer worked in the last part of his life and where he died in 1912, is a testimony. One of the last scores of Josef Wieniawski, this symphony has similarities with the symphonic music created in Paris towards the end of the 19th Century, being influenced by Cesar Franck and Ernest Chausson. It is a work with a pronounced poetic spirit, capable of evoking images of a special beauty, and the performance of the Lodz Philharmonic Orchestra highlights these qualities under the direction of conductor Pawel Przytocki; it emphasizes the robustness of the first movement Allegro con spirito, the lyricism of the second movement Andante molto cantabile, the jovial atmosphere of the next movement Scherzo, concluding with the final movement Allegro energico e risoluto, which is distinguished by broad sonorities, dizzying rhythms and a vast dynamic palette.

Larisa Clempuş
Translated by Ioana Andreea Radu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu