Kilar: Piano Concerto

Kilar: Piano Concerto

by Waldemar Malicki
     
 

Among contemporary Polish composers, Henryk Gorécki has nearly outdistanced the long-established popularity of Krzysztof Penderecki, partly due to his willingness to abandon the international style fostered in Darmstadt in favor of a calm, quiet, and accessible style that nonetheless effectively takes on the challenge of Poland'sSee more details below

Overview

Among contemporary Polish composers, Henryk Gorécki has nearly outdistanced the long-established popularity of Krzysztof Penderecki, partly due to his willingness to abandon the international style fostered in Darmstadt in favor of a calm, quiet, and accessible style that nonetheless effectively takes on the challenge of Poland's disastrous place in the scheme of world events in the twentieth century. While Gorécki gets the glory, at least in the United States, one Polish composer who has been plowing the same field for easily as long is Wojciech Kilar (pronounced "hVoy-Jee Kee-lahr"), and yet his name is mainly only known to fanciers of film music. Chances are, no matter who you are, you've heard it; among Kilar's film credits are such scores as Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Ninth Gate, Death and the Maiden, and The Pianist. Kilar: Piano Concerto is the second of Naxos' attempts to bring Kilar's generally excellent music to a more general audience, and while it's good, it's perhaps a little less than ideal. The main work, Kilar's "Piano Concerto," gets off to a beautiful start, but about five minutes into it seems to lose its focus. That might not be much of a deterrent if one is nuts about Kilar already, and admittedly Tchaikovsky likewise loses his focus after the big opening tune of his "Piano Concerto No. 1" and this has hardly stopped it from being played and recorded countless times. While Kilar's effort remains attractive-sounding throughout, it's hard to warm up to it as you're not sure why he's going where he's going. The closing Toccata also sounds a little too much like Louis Andriessen. "Mother of God," dating from 1979, and "Koscielec 1909" from 1976 are a bit more on the money, although some may object to the violent outbursts in "Mother of God." "Grey Mist," for baritone and orchestra, is really the best and most representative piece on Kilar: Piano Concerto, although its enjoyment is hampered somewhat by the lack of a text; this you can find on the Naxos website, although many may not bother with this additional step. The performances are decent, as is the recording, which has a rather dark, burnished quality about it that, like the collection itself, is less than ideal. To get to know Kilar at his best, you really can't beat the album Requiem Father Kolbe on Jade, which will also bring you "Koscielec 1909." Nonetheless, Kilar: Piano Concerto might well satisfy the already converted.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/25/2006
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313281329
catalogNumber:
8557813
Rank:
322011

Tracks

  1. Bogurodzica, for chorus & orchestra  - Wojciech Kilar  -  Warsaw National Philharmonic Choir  -  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra  - Antoni Wit  - Henryk Wojnarowski  - Ulrich Osterloh
  2. Piano Concerto  - Wojciech Kilar  - Waldemar Malicki  -  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra  - Antoni Wit  - Ulrich Osterloh
  3. Siwa Mgla (Grey Mist), for voice & orchestra  - Wojciech Kilar  - Wieslaw Ochman  -  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra  - Antoni Wit  - Ulrich Osterloh
  4. Mount Koscielec 1909, for orchestra  - Wojciech Kilar  -  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra  - Antoni Wit  - Ulrich Osterloh

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