James McCarthy
Limelight, Australia
January 2015

Hyperion continue their excellent work in unearthing rare concerti, giving the lie to the cliché that interest in classical music, especially non-mainstream works, is in decline. Music by two Polish composers from the late 1800s is under the microscope on this occasion, wonderfully played by violinist Eugene Ugorski and the Scottish Orchestra conducted by Michał Dworzyński.

Emil Młynarski studied composition with Liadov and orchestration with Rimsky-Korsakov. The brilliance of the latter’s instruction is clear in Młynarski’s work. He was a conductor of opera and orchestras, working across the musical spectrum in Poland all his life. His two concertos are fine, romantic works, so good as to wonder at their eclipse over the last century. Twenty years separate the two concerti, the second emerging as the more subtle of the two.

The Ukrainian, Aleksander Zarzycki, studied in Berlin before settling in Warsaw in 1871. A popluar dance at the time known in Paris as the cracovienne and in Vienna as the krakauer, emerges here as the attractive two-part Introduction et Cracovienne. The Mazurka is dedicated to the Spanish composer, Sarasate. For me, it is the most familiar piece on the disc; a delightful work. These are all very attractive compositions, and I recommend them all to the wider classical music public.

Limelight, Australia