Two concertos by Feliks Nowowiejski – piano in C Minor, Op. 60 (known as Slavonic), and cello, Op. 55 – are contained on the newest album recorded by the Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Łukasz Borowicz, and featuring the pianist Jacek Kortus and cellist Bartosz Koziak.
Both pieces are phonographic premieres; although performing tradition does exist, to date the works have been presented only a handful of times.
Łukasz Borowicz, who took the effort of preparing and recording the pieces with the Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra, writes in the album booklet:
…. orchestra material of the concertos has been thoroughly analysed and compared with the manuscripts which miraculously survived war-time desolation. These comparisons made it possible to refine instrumentation, tempo, and articulation details.
Since an alternative denouement of Cello Concerto exists in the manuscript, we decided to record both versions of the ending (throughout his entire life, Nowowiejski frequently altered already finished pieces, or left their alternative versions).
With Piano Concerto, we decided to use the edited version of the work developed by the composer’s son, Kazimierz Nowowiejski. The numerous abridgements made by the pianist significantly change the length of the composition and contribute to its formal cohesiveness, which (in our opinion) makes it more accessible to the listener.
As performers of the phonographic premiere, we harbour a profound conviction that both compositions will find a place on the concert circuit. It is something quite astounding that concertos by one of the most important Polish composers of the early-20th century should wait for their phonographic premiere for… eighty years.
The world phonographic premiere, the album, which was co-funded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, has been released by DUX.