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Plays! Franck Szymanowski Bacewicz & Saint-Saens[CD]
~ Vincent P. Skowronski
SKOWRONSKI PLAYS! Franck, Szymanowski, Bacewicz and Saint-Saëns 'Mr. Skowronski is an uncommonly expressive and persuasive violinist. He plays everything with irresistible èlan.' --FANFARE magazine The Sonata in A Major by Cèsar Franck, a keystone of the Romantic repertoire for violin, is performed here by violinist Vincent P. Skowronski in a distinctly masterful and sensational manner. Mr. Skowronski opens this disc with a sublime offering of the sonata's Allegretto and follows with resolute Franckian statements in the turbulent Allegro. The artist then proceeds with an introspective yet grandiose reading of the Recitativo--Fantasia which ultimately sets up the work for it's joyous, heart-on-your-sleeve Finale. Mr. Skowronski's rendition of the Franck Sonata has been hailed as among the best available, and should be in every serious violinist's collection. Karol (Karl) Szymanowski's Fountain of Arethuse and Song of Roxanne certainly display an engaging, talcum approach to music making by the versatile Skowronski as he has deftly assembled robust yet translucent and gossamer renditions of these two musical gems from the Age of Impressionism. The brief Mazurka by Grazyna (Grace) Bacewicz reveals a knee-slapper of a Polish folk dance before Skowronski unleashes the rarely performed Sonata No. 1 in D Minor by Camille Saint-Saëns. The D Minor Sonata by Saint-Saëns is a very beautiful, almost all 'happy music' composition. It is surely not as profound a work as the Franck Sonata, yet the piece offers any listener the opportunity to experience truly enjoyable, worthwhile and emotionally satisfying music making. And so enters Skowronski who serves up a scintillating and oft times quixotic portrayal of the entire sonata. The virtuoso violinist begins with a delightful romp through the Allegretto Agitato opening movement then --attacca-- deeply immerses himself in the following poignant Adagio. The artist continues with the third movement Allegro Moderato which provides the listener with sound-alike snatches of impish material from Saint-Saëns' famous 'Danse Macabre.' At one point, Skowronski reaches a patch of chordal repose but, alas, the quietude is summarily shattered by the rudely abrupt announcement of the blazing climax. From this point on, the Finale becomes a hold-on-to-your-hat, frantic dash to the finish line. You'll love it all.......it's FUN! Program notes provided by Skowronski: Classical Recordings. Any and all comments regarding this CD are welcome.
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