by Janusz Wawrowski


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Polish violinist Janusz Wawrowski attempts something quite interesting here and largely succeeds: he wants to transfer the virtuoso ethos of the Romantic era to repertoire of the 20th and 21st centuries. He looks the part in the graphics with his traditional Polish jacket, and he begins convincingly with one of the standards of the virtuoso repertoire, the "Violin Sonata in E major, Op 27, No. 6," of Eugène Ysaÿe, and he pushes the violinistic limits even further with Luciano Berio's magisterial, borderline unplayable "Sequenza VIII" for violin solo (1976), which gives the album its name and which defines both its own tonal system and its own sonic field, often to the violinist's detriment (you might as well sample this, track 9, to get an idea of Wawrowski's formidable powers). But Wawrowski balances these with works that allude to the national and pictorial strands of the virtuoso repertoire, including two Polish works (by Grazyna Bacewicz and Krzysztof Penderecki) and a real rarity, the pictorial but dense, four-movement "Eventyrsuite" (Adventure Suite) of Norwegian virtuoso and teacher Bjarne Brustad. The program takes leave of tonality early on and never really returns to it, concluding with two world premieres of works from the 2010s. One might wish for a few more strands of the earlier repertoire to be woven into the later stages of the program, but there isn't a dull work in the bunch, and Wawrowski's playing is nothing short of awe-inspiring in the fireworks. A unique release from an emerging star.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/25/2016
Label: Rhino Warner Classic
UPC: 0825646506569
catalogNumber: 558280
Rank: 256172


  1. Up, for violin
  2. Fil d'araignée, for violin
  3. Sonata for solo violin [No. 1]
  4. Eventyr (Fairytale), suite for violin

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