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Wonderful Roxanna Panufnik review

I were very happy to see this beautiful review on Bachtrack for last week’s premiere at the Concertgebouw of Roxanna Panufnik’s Songs of love and friendship, that the Stiftfestival commissioned together with AVROTROS. :))

Relatively  unusual was the addition of a single violin part to these a cappella songs. Actually, this polyphonic choral work should have crowned the first concert of the new GOK chief conductor Benjamin Goodson last autumn. Due to the corona, however, this was not possible due to the large number of people. Violinist Daniel Rowland met Panufnik during his time as the first violinist of the Brodsky Quartet and, together with Goodson, was the inspiration for this unusual composition.

In the belated premiere, Rowland bewitched with the sound of a violin in the role of a musical commentator. In the first song, Companion, Panufnik clearly instructs him to play the song of a swallow as realistically as possible with high, short interval jumps. Swallows seem to sing a little differently in each country, he says. When, after his introductory solo, the sopranos, which began as delicate as a gold wire mesh, took over his melody, time stood still in the venerable Concertgebouw. Because of its floating harmony and wave-like rhythms, Panufnik’s music is otherwise rather tense and restless. In Conquest, Rowland’s double stops were the sounding equivalent of the melting together of two lovers “ce soupir si doux, si tendre”. Panufnik’s love song sighed and languished with great passion. This successful premiere was convincing proof that the Dutch radio choir has blossomed brilliantly under its new chief conductor. “ 

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