Discovery Records - Danacord & Dux
This UK distributor's name is apt for their wide ranging international coverage.
New Danish songs
Track list & sound samples at http://www.danacord.dk/frmsets/records/684-r.html
Danacord DACOCD 684
Marianne Lund is a fabulous singer, a soprano who maintains excellent diction up into the leger-lines (she doesn't seem to have a website or a presence on You-Tube ?). .
The songs, many of them brief, are intriguing and fresh, with interesting texts, ideally presented in perfect sound and balance, the varied instrumentation helping to make this a disc to play straight through.
The presentation is uniquely excellent, a model for other record producers to consider.
All is clear, in good sized print, black on white. First the listing of nine composers with 31 song titles; then succinct biographical paragraphs to "place"each of them written by Pelle Gudmundsen–Holmgreen (Engl. trans. Rudiger Meyer). Then 24 pages of parallel song texts, Danish/English set out for easy following whilst listening. Finally, biographies of the artists. Recorded and produced by Torsten Jessen in 2009, this is a strong competitor for Record of the Month.
Polish composers - DUX
A batch of CDs to consider from the Polish company DUX. From a UK perspective, Polish composers are significantly disadvantaged by the difficulty of spelling and pronouncing many of their names.
KRZYSZTOF BACULEWSKI (b. 1950)
Krzystof Baculewski is one of the later generation who reacted against the doctrinaire Polish avant-garde of the late '50s & '60s; the history of Poland's music in recent times is complex and fascinating. He is in my opinion a major composer, well represented on this portrait disc of orchestral works 1981-2009.
These works are all ear-catching and holding; I have played the disc twice and it is one of my favourites of the first half of this year. No time, unfortunately, to go into detail which is traversed at length in the extensive liner notes.
Two comments. M. Gasioworska's comprehensive analytic notes (in Polish and English) would have benefited from track-time references in mins/seconds, alongside pitches, for those (most) of us who don't have absolute pitch to enable us to spot where we are, e.g. in Ground.
Weronika Ratusinska and Slawomir Zamuszko Works for Orchestra
Weronika Ratusinska (b.1977) is an award winning recipient of support in the Young composers in homage to Frederic Chopin programme. She seems to be still at the stage of experimenting amongst various compositional techniques and feeling her way towards a personal style. But one to look out for a few years on...
Slawomir Zamuszko [Dux 0724] explains how he bluffed his way into the world of music. He is also supported by the same programme; he is 'active in the popularization of music' and his CD is derivative and frankly populist in character, with no distinguishing original or nationalistic features.
Peter Grahame Woolf