Monday, September 24, 2012

Music Monday

Andrzej Panufnik,
courtesy of

Today is the anniversary of Sir Andrzej Panufnik's birth. Born in Warsaw in 1914, Panufnik was a delightful composer and conductor, who spent part of his life in Poland, and later in England. Host John Clare describes his music as "grand simplicity" (tm) - which include ten symphonies; concerti for violin, piano, bassoon, and cello; three string quartets; as well as various piano, chamber and orchestral works.
Panufnik and Lutoslwski reunited in 1990
Andrzej studied with Felix Weingartner before the Second World War, and during the war, performed piano duets with composer Witold Lutoslawski - as you might have seen in the major motion picture, The Pianist.
Musicians like Leopold Stokowski, Mstislav Rostropovich, Yehudi Menhuhin, and Jascha Horenstein have recorded and championed his music. More recently recordings have been available from Naxos, CPO and Conifer labels.
Lady Camilla Panufnik, his wife, is a highly regarded photographer and their children, Roxanna and Jem are noted composer and sound artist respectively.
There is lots to love and enjoy in Panufnik's music - one of the great symphonies is an early one for Poland's millenium, Sinfonia Sacra. Both overtures, Tragic and Heroic, are well crafted. Here is the Violin Concerto from youtube:

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