Bacewicz & Tansman: Piano Quintets / Kociuban, Messages Quartet
Julia Kociuban is considered as one of the leading polish pianists of her generation. Her debut solo album “Schumann, Chopin, Bacewicz” was praised by critics as one of the most interesting Polish piano debut of the past years, and album with Bacewicz and Tansman Piano Concertos was nominated for the Polish Music Industry Prize “Fryderyk” in the “Album of the Year – Concerto Music” category.
MESSAGES QUARTET (Małgorzata Wasiucionek-Potera & Oriana Masternak – violin, Maria Shetty – viola, Beata Urbanek-Kalinowska – cello) was founded in 2014 and only a year later won the 2nd prize, Silver Medal, and a special award for the interpretation of Dmitri Shostakovich’s quartet in the 2nd International Chamber Music Competition in Plovdiv (Bulgaria, 2015). The Messages Quartet performs both in Poland and abroad, e.g. in Vienna, London, São Paulo, or Moscow. On a number of occasions, the ensemble has presented a comprehensive and innovative repertoire as part of a series of chamber music concerts at the premises of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice.
Both Bacewicz and Tansman are well represented on disc but competing versions of works are valuable not merely in offering a choice – a choice of couplings, for example - but also for interpretative decision-making. On their new Dux recording the Messages Quartet and pianist Julia Kociuban have opted to include Tansman’s Musica a cinque, for piano quintet.
Tansman’s piano quintet was written in 1955. It’s cast in five movements and opens with a smoky Praeludium, continues with the syncopated bravura of a Toccata, adds the compelling stillness of a complex Elegia, and a firefly Divertimento, and then unleashes a fugal finale. In every way it’s a more approachable, less intimidating work than Bacewicz’s Second Quintet though whether it’s greater openheartedness is a match for her more questing technique is another matter. It’s certainly finely played here and makes for a fine programmatic contrast. The booklet is attractive and colourful.
Release Date: March 18, 2022
Catalog Number: DUX1792
Number of Discs: 1
Period: 20th Century
Composer: Grażyna Bacewicz
Orchestra/Ensemble: Messages Quartet
Performer: Julia Kociuban