Reflections. The solo piano works of Andrzej and Roxanna Panufnik
Clare Hammond piano
Release date: 2nd May 2014
Amazing power and panache Daily Telegraph
Crisp precision and unflashy intelligence The Guardian
Pianist Clare Hammond releases a disc of the solo piano works of Andrzej and Roxanna Panufnik for his centenary in 2014. The album has been supported by the Polish Cultural Institute in London.
“In all my works I attempt to achieve a true balance between feeling and intellect, heart and brain, impulse and design.” Andrzej Panufnik
On 2 June 2014, BIS Records will release Clare Hammond’s disc of the solo piano works of Andrzej and Roxanna Panufnik. The disc features four world premiere recordings including that of Modlitwa, partly composed by Andrzej Panufnik before his death and completed some years later by his daughter Roxanna. This is the first recording to present the piano music of both Andrzej and Roxanna side by side and will be released just prior to the centenary of his birth in September 2014.
Forged in the fires of the two World Wars, Andrzej Panufnik's compositional output is inextricably linked with the major social and political events of the 20th century. Born in Warsaw at the onset of the First World War, he lived through the German occupation of the city in the Second World War and participated in musical resistance activities with the composer Lutosławski. Over the course of the conflict, Panufnik lost many of his closest relatives and saw his compositions consumed by the fires of the Warsaw Uprising. Initially fêted by the socialist government, he became unable to compose suitably 'positive' music and, accused of bourgeois decadence, made a dramatic escape to Britain in 1954. Panufnik spent the next 40 years in the UK and was knighted for his services to British music in 1991.
Clare Hammond first performed works by Andrzej Panufnik at the Wigmore Hall in 2011 and fell in love with the dynamism, wit and panache of his music. She began to work closely with his widow Camilla and daughter Roxanna and has initiated a number of events to celebrate the centenary. These include a chamber festival at Kings Place on the 30 November, where Clare will perform alongside the Brodsky Quartet, her debut recital at the prestigious ‘Chopin and his Europe’ Festival
in Warsaw, and a tour of Poland later in the year supported by an award from the British Council’s ‘Artists’ International Development Fund’.
Andrzej Panufnik’s three works for solo piano reflect his life-long fascination with abstract patterns, mirror forms and geometric schema. The Twelve Miniature Studies started life, in 1947, as Krąg kwintowy (‘Circle of fifths’). They proceed rigorously through an entire circle of fifths and are saturated with schematic patterns on a smaller scale. Reflections, written in 1968, is based on a series of literal reflections of a single triad, both vertically and horizontally, but also alludes to the idea of musical contemplation. The final piece, Pentasonata, is constructed in five sections, arranged palindromically, and was intended by Panufnik to ‘achieve a balance between heart and mind, intellect and emotion’.
Roxanna Panufnik’s Second Home explores her sentiments for her father’s Polish homeland and is based on a Polish folk theme ‘Hejze Ino! Fijolecku Lesny’. Glo, a short and poignant piece, was written in memory of a friend who died of cancer. Polish influences are strong in both Modlitwa, based on a prayer written by Jerzy Pietrkiewicz to the Virgin of Skempe, and in Hommage à Chopin, which uses folk music from Mazowia as its foundation. Both works have been arranged for piano by Roxanna Panufnik specifically for this recording.
The album cover features a photograph of Andrzej and Roxanna Panufnik taken in 1987 by Andrzej’s widow, Camilla Panufnik.
Part of Andrzej Panufnik Centenary 2014.