Archived Panufnik Recordings Released on CD
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Andrzej Panufnik’s 9th Symphony and the Bassoon Concerto, conducted by the composer himself on 6th October 1987 for BBC 3 Radio, are to be released on CD on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth.
He called music an "unfrozen architecture", and almost all of his oeuvre makes use of symmetry. While still in Poland, Panufnik marvelled at the symmetry of Kurpie cut-outs, and when he came to England, he became interested in tantric yoga. – read the article (A)symmetries of the 20th Century. Who Was Panufnik?
The Bassoon Concerto was written by Panufnik in 1985 at the request of the Polish Women's Cultural Society in Milwaukee. The composer wrote this piece with a particular bassoon player in mind - Robert Thompson, whose performance can be heard on the album recorded by the BBC. The piece was dedicated to the memory of Father Jerzy Popiełuszko, who was murdered by communist Poland's Secret Service.
The mere fact of creating a piece for bassoon had become a major challenge for him - an instrument that is usually regarded as the ”fool” of the orchestra, exposing its comic possibilities of expression. This time the composer decided to break this stereotype and entrusted this instrument with an extremely expressive, even dramatic, part highlighting its melodious possibilities. (...) Moreover, the soloist admitted in an interview that he treats Panufnik's Concerto not like the piece, in which he plays the bassoon, but as the opera, in which he plays a dramatic solo part. - says Beata Bolesławska, Panufnik’s biography author
Panufnik's 9th Symphony was dedicated to his wife, Camilla, like most of the tracks created after their wedding. The subtitle of this piece is Sinfonia di Speranza, which means Symphony of Hope.
A diagram showing a rainbow, a symbol of hope, which Panufnik used in writing the score was placed on the composers grave by his loved ones.
The album will be released by the Heritage Publishing House in co-production with the Polish Cultural Institute in London . The songs were performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra with Robert Thompson and were conducted by Andrzej Panufnik himself.
Source: the Polish Institute in London, own materials, February 2014, translated: Katarzyna Maksimiuk, 3.03.2014