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Mozart, Vivaldi, Bach, Bartok and Elgar - Polish Chamber Orchestra

Relatively few releases present a good case for live recordings: this one, however, most certainly does! Here we find that elusive amalgam in which masterly orchestral playing is supremely well recorded, resulting in a wholly credible 'concert-hall' experience. The Linn engineers have been eminently successful in a task which is often fraught with difficulties.

Under the direction of their leader, Jan Stanienda, the Polish Chamber Orchestra open their programme with an effervescent account of Mozart's Divertimento in F, K138/125c. As ever, the violin articulation in rapid passagework is little short of miraculous! I imagine that the authentic brigade would not have much sympathy with the baroque offerings here; but the Vivaldi is certainly a dramatic and large-scale affair, whilst Jan Stanienda is admirable as soloist in the A minor Bach Violin Concerto. The Bartok Divertimento receives a performance in which the convulsive energy and unmitigated remorse latent in this score become palpable to a degree really only conceivable in the concert-hall. The Polish players revel in Bartok's uncompromising writing, making this certainly the highlight of the concert, although the Elgar Introduction and Allegro is hardly less convincing, in a reading of nobility and breadth.
This is a most enjoyable release, and, as one would expect from such a source.

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Gramophone Magazine
13 March 1990