Szymanowski: Mythes, Op 30; Roxana's Song; Kurpish Song. Franck: Violin Sonata

Reviewed on Tue 28 May, 2013

If you don't yet know Szymanowski's utterly entrancing Myths (three exotic narrative pieces inspired by Ancient Greek legend), let me urge immediate investigation. On this inspirationally eloquent anthology from the early 1980s, Kaja Danczowska responds with the most ravishing tone and breathtaking security throughout (Szymanowski's frequently stratospheric writing obviously holds no terrors for her), and in Krystian Zimerman she has a partner whose pianism exhibits a deftness, control and range of colour that are beyond compare. These exceptional artists also give us two arrangements that Szymanowski fashioned for the Polish virtuoso Pawel Kochanski (1887-1934): their ravishingly tender way with the haunting 'Roxana's Song' from the opera King Roger would surely melt the heart of any listener. Last, but not least, Franck's lovely Sonata receives a performance to cherish in its intrepid character, abundant poetry and communicative flair. One for the pantheon, no doubt about it.
–Andrew Achenbach