Penderecki: Viola Concerto/ Cello Concerto No.2 (Antoni Wit/ Grigori Zhislin/ Tatjana Vassiljeva/ Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra) (Naxos: 8.572211)
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Penderecki's concertos are amongst the most communicative, emotionally charged, and important works of the second half of the twentieth century. The Second Cello Concerto was written for Rostropovich and its exploration of Romantic intensity reflected a change in Penderecki's musical language. Its rich harmonies and dramatic power ensure unflagging interest. Opening with an expressive soliloquy for the soloist, the brooding and complex Viola Concerto incorporates a broad range of techniques from the composer's maturity into a taut and compact time-span. Grigori Zhislin has long been associated with this work, whilst Antoni Wit is one of the composer's greatest champions, whose 'authoritative insight' (American Record Guide) has been acknowledged in the Symphony No. 3 and Threnody on Naxos 8.554491.
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