Stanisław Skrowaczewski

Underrated. Skrowaczewski was an underrated conductor in his lifetime. Yes the press would review the CDs he would release on smaller record labels but he was never the sensational star conductor like some of his peers. I first came across the Bruckner symphony set when I was a student. Of course, I had already heard his collaboration with Rubinstein on a famous recording of Chopin’s … Continue reading Stanisław Skrowaczewski

Igor Levit’s Variations (Bach, Beethoven, Rzewski)

Even though I had been thinking of reviewing this 3CD set, the fact that it was recently awarded the Gramophone Recording of the Year Award, made me finalise my decision. Levit’s achievement here is remarkable. He presents us immaculate performances of three of the greatest sets of variations. Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations and Rzewski’s The People United Can Never Be Defeated! (1975). Even … Continue reading Igor Levit’s Variations (Bach, Beethoven, Rzewski)

Argerich’s Rachmaninov 3rd

Rachmaninov Piano Concerto 3 Martha Argerich (piano) Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin / Ricardo Chailly Released remastered for Philips 50 series (2001) I remember being a student in London and entering one of the record stores with the largest classical music sections. As soon as I stepped in and walked along the aisles, a feeling of happiness overwhelmed me. The speakers were playing a recording of the Rachmaninov … Continue reading Argerich’s Rachmaninov 3rd

Szymanowski First Violin Concerto

Szymanowski’s First Violin Concerto can be described as sumptuous, lush, exotic. It is said that the composer himself was inspired by the Polish poet Tadeusz Miciński, and specifically his poem Noc Majowa (A Night in May). Just by reading the poem one can immerse oneself in Szymanwoski’s night-vision music: “All the birds pay tribute to me for today I wed a goddess. And now we … Continue reading Szymanowski First Violin Concerto