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Krzystof Meyer Music for cello
and String Quartets 9, 11 and 12

Canzona & Cello Sonatas

Toccata Classics TOCC 0098

This is a disc of particular personal interest to me. It arose from the excellent cellist's Fellowship at Trinity College of Music in Greenwich, a few minutes from my home. She was responsible whilst there for a series of Polish contemporary cello music concerts, both her pianists colleagues there too.

Although closely associated with TCM since it moved to Greenwich, I had remained quite unaware of those concerts; Trinity College's press publicity has lagged well behind those of the other London colleges.

Krzystof Meyer is a fine, prolific composer with a language of his own and meticulous care in conveying it to paper and performance.

Although a pianist first, he composed for cello ensembles in Krakow and is proud to have worked with many exceptional cellists. Evva Mizerska is one such, and she can be proud to have had the opportunity to champion three such fine and original works and with the composer's involvement. Meyer espouses melody - "not post-Romantic cantilena but absolutely contemporary".

The first sonata (1984), ostensibly for cello accompanied by piano - though that did not strike me listening - begins with a ravishing, seductive Misterioso and one remains held in attention for its near half-hour. Whether accompanient or not, with Emma Abate (official accompanist at trinity College of Music) at the keyboard I ought to have a secure place in the repertoire, if there were room for it and against concert promoter's insistence upon "standards" to maximise ticket sales.

Evva Mizerska recorded in Polish Radio Studio (2008) so perhaps these works have become a little familiar in the musicians' home country? The second sonata is planned as more equal between the players, and ensemble is equally good with Katarzyna Glensk who has won many a prize but whose website doesn't yet have an English version.

This is a terrific disc, one to be pressed into the hands of every aspiring cello recitalist.

Peter Grahame Woolf

See also Bob Briggs on Music Web "one of the most elemental and exciting composers currently at work today"

and Bob's Musical Pointers Obituary

String Quartets, Vol. 2 - Nos. 9, 11 and 12

Wieniawski String Quartet

Naxos 8.572656

During a week in hospital with my iPod, I found myself listening again and again to cello sonatas and some later quartets of Krzystof Meyer, a great composer whose music I have only begun to explore recently, such is the vagary with which one receives discs for review.

I guess he can be well described as a "moderate modernist" (c.f. Veress review at ....). For me the most striking characteristic is its lucidity, contrapuntal development in which one can hear clearly the development of his ideas and hold them in mind as they unroll.

A lot of 'catching up" to be done.


Krzysztof Meyer’s string quartets stand at the centre of his achievements as a composer - Naxos. The Wieniawski Quartet’s recording of Meyer’s Quartets Nos. 5, 6 and 8 (8.570776) was welcomed as an ‘exciting issue of very stimulating music’. (MusicWeb International) - NAXOS