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Once highly regarded, Roman Palester (1907-89) has fallen from recognition. He is credited as being the first Polish composer of 12-tone music. All of the recordings on this fascinating disc are world premieres; only Espressioni was performed during the composer’s lifetime.

Tchorzewski gives massively confident performances. The music, in fact, is immensely powerful, at times granitic and always uncompromising. Bergian arching lines inform the slower sections of the First Piano Sonata; the modernist first movement is strong but never hammered in Tchorzewski’s hands. The Variations are capricious at times; the Passacaglia deeply serious. Like Debussy, the titles for Palester’s Espressioni (one a heartfelt tribute to Dallapiccola) are printed at the end of each piece.

Musically vital, intellectually stimulating, often raw and expressionistic, this is a highly rewarding disc.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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