If you're looking for a single disc coupling the two violin concertos of twentieth century Polish composer Karol Szymanowski, this 2006 disc by violinist Ilya Kaler accompanied by the Warsaw Philharmonic under Antoni Wit is a real bargin. While there are half a dozen other couplings of the two works available -- including Thomas Zehetmair's 1995 recording with Simon Rattle leading the City of Birmingham Symphony, Konstantly Kulka's 1978 recording with Jerzy Maksymiuk leading the Polish Radio Symphony, and Kaja Danczowska's 1996 recording with Kazimierz Kord leading the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra -- this recording has several distinct virtues. First, soloist Kaler is a spectacular virtuoso with an innate understanding of Szymanowski's unique brand of lyrical modernism. Second, Wit and the Warsaw Philharmonic provide him with a first-class accompaniment full of brilliant colors, vivacious rhythms, and the kind of supple sensuality that was Szymanowski's trademark. Third, Naxos' sound, recorded in Warsaw by producers Andrzej Sasin and Aleksandra Nagòrko, is clear, deep, and very atmospheric. Fourth, Naxos' price places this disc within the reach of almost any collector.
Dallas Morning News
- Scott Cantrell
[Grade: A] Ilya Kaler plays gorgeously in the violin-and-orchestral works, with fine support from conductor Antoni Wit and the Warsaw Philharmonic and splendid recorded sound.