- Capriccio for violin & orchestra
- De Natura Sonoris II, for orchestra
- Piano Concerto
If you didn't already know, you could still guess that two of the very different works on this disc were written by the same composer. The "Capriccio" from 1967 is an intensely expressive and grotesque parody of the grand violin concertos of the nineteenth and early twentieth century; the "De Natura Sonoris" from 1971 is a more self-consciously avant-garde work exploring the extreme ends of the orchestra. But both works are marked by the same abrupt, even violent approach to scoring that was the hallmark of Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, thereby giving the game away. However, if you didn't know Penderecki had had an aesthetic change of heart during his career, you might never guess that the "Piano Concerto" he called "Resurrection" was also his. With its powerful echoes of Bartók and Prokofiev in the solo writing and Bruckner and Mahler in the scoring, one might guess a much earlier and an infinitely more conservative composer. Only the occasional orchestral eruption remains of Penderecki's earlier aesthetic, and the resulting single-movement work is much less arresting than his earlier works -- and, some might say, vastly less interesting. Superbly played by violinist Patrycja Piekutowska and pianist Beata Bilinska, capably accompanied by the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and ardently conducted by the composer himself, this disc will nevertheless be mandatory for anyone who follows contemporary music. Those who don't know the Polish post-modernist master's music are advised to try his early "Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima." It's not only Penderecki's signature piece, it's one of the landmarks in postwar music. And if you enjoy the "Threnody," try "The Awakening of Jacob." For better or worse, Dux's 2005 digital sound is big, bold, brash, and blowing full blast straight into your face.