WORKS FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO BY POLISH COMPOSERS
MARTA SZLUBOWSKA, VIOLIN
SVETLANA BELSKY, PIANO
"Stunningly beautiful"; Szymanowski's "Dryads and Pan" is "wonderfully fantastical... Marta Szlubowska's virtuosity really takes off and Belsky has the most delicious of light touches." Paderewski violin sonata "exudes a Brahmsian warmth, especially when heard with Szlubowska's generosity of tone, while Belsky plays the demanding piano part with elfin fingers, skittering up and down the keyboard. Communication between the two players is a joy. [The middle movement] includes moments of intense beauty; the way the players here can melt into sweet lyricism is intensely memorable. Hats off to Szlubowska and Belsky for giving such a concentrated, successful reading"
-Colin Clarke, Fanfare Magazine
"The performance (of Paderewski's Violin Sonata) is full of vigor and vitality. The violin is bright and warm and the piano, fluid and flowing. There is beautiful interplay between the two musicians and nuanced details. The disc also features Mythes by Karol Szymanowski. Here the performers draw out the poetry and exoticism of the score."
-M. L. Rantala, Hyde Park Herald
"Myth and Romance begins with the three-movement “Mythes, Op. 30” by Karol Szymanowski. All three are virtuosic works that allow both artists to demonstrate their mastery of their instruments. Composed when Paderewski was 22, the Sonata is my favorite work on the album. The first movement, “Allegro con fantasia,” is beautifully lyrical and played with heartfelt emotion by both artists. The second movement, “Intermezzo. Andantino,” is expressed with tenderness and grace. The Finale, “Allegro molto quasi presto,” is a real showpiece with passages that are bold and dramatic and others that are much quieter and more subtle - a great way to end this excellent album! Brava to both Marta Szlubowska and Svetlana Belsky for their brilliant performances!"
-Kathy Parsons, Mainly Piano
"... An attractive program of music by past and present Polish composers. The melody [of Chopin's Nocturne in C sharp minor], heard initially in the higher register, is hauntingly beautiful, even spooky, in this performance, evoking a mood of desolation in the middle section, as of moonlight shining through the windows of a deserted ballroom. Polish Caprice for violin solo by Grazyna Bacewicz lives up to its name as a warm, lively bit of whimsy, ending abruptly and impudently. It ought to be better known as a delectable encore. The Violin Sonata by Paderewski is presented memorably by Szlubowska and Belsky in an account that makes us wonder why we haven’t heard this great work performed more often in recitals. It opens with an Allegro con fantasia that makes use in passing of a tantalizingly familiar folk melody ... and works its way, stridently and magnificently, to one of confident affirmation."
-Classical Reviews, Atlanta Audio Club