When conceiving his Polonaise for orchestra, Penderecki used the fantasia form, not unfamiliar to Chopin, which is based on a primary theme, which, as the piece progresses, is being developed, transformed and subjected to several different variations. Richly orchestrated, it allows performers to create colours that overlap each other while influencing the overall musical expression. Spatiality is a very important aspect of this work as during its world premiere the wind instruments were placed on the balcony of the Warsaw Philharmonic's Concert Hall. The composition could be called "the apotheosis of a polonaise" or, as the composer prefers, "a small symphonic poem on the theme of a polonaise".
Selected by ECHO (the European Concert Hall Organisation) as one of its Rising Stars of the 2009/10 season, the Swedish clarinettist Emil Jonason has become increasingly visible on the international music scene. For his first disc on the BIS label he has chosen to record a concerto written for him by his compatriot Christian Lindberg, composer, conductor and legendary trombonist. As Lindberg remarks in his own note on the work, the soloist was involved at all stages of the compositional process.
This revered Russian pianist was famous for probing the poetry of the pieces he played even as he exhibited breathtaking virtuosity. This set collects his highly prized interpretations of masterpieces from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries: more than 5 CDs of Beethoven plus Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor ; Saint-Sa+«ns' Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor ; Tchaikovsky's Piano Concert No. 1 in B Flat Minor ; Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2 in B Flat Minor ; Shostakovich's 24 Preludes and Fugues, and more!
This disc will benefit from a strong curiosity factor, for the Goldberg who composed the music here is indeed the one for whom J.S. Bach is said to have composed his monumental Goldberg Variations for harpsichord, BWV 988. The story goes that the Russian ambassador to the Dresden court, one Count von Keyserlingk, had insomnia and wanted a long, gentle work that could be played by his house keyboardist, the then teenaged Goldberg, in the next room.
This authorized BBC tape has never been issued before. The recital is slightly unusual in that Gilels opens with Schumann's rarely heard Four Klavierstuckeop.32. Gilels only performed these pieces late in his career from 1977 to 1984. This is an exceptionally rare CD and presents the Russian pianist at his best in a relaxed, informal atmosphere. There is a beautifully played encore - Mozart's D minor Fantasy K397 - which is also featured on this well-filled 80+minute disc.
“Emil Gilels stands out as giant among giants,” wrote Gramophone when the Odessa-born pianist died in 1985. “In terms of virtuosity he was second to none, yet his leonine power was tempered by a delicacy and poetry that few have matched and none has surpassed.” Beethoven was at the heart of Gilels’ repertoire and in 1968 he recorded this complete cycle of the composer’s piano concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra and its long-standing maestro, another musical titan of the era, George Szell.