The centenary of Andrzej Panufnik, a Polish fugitive who settled in England in the mid-1950s, is driving a reassessment of his diverse, original and ever-restless music. One of the most revealing recordings so far is of the concerto he wrote for Milwaukee’s Bob Thompson (pictured) and an instrument that is seldom treated as seriously as its players think it deserves.
The timing, however, dictated the mood. While composing the concerto in 1983, Panufnik heard of the state murder in Poland of a Solidarity priest, Father Jerzy Popieluszko. Against this backdrop, he created a work ‘in which the morose bassoon is a lone voice of sanity in a bleak landscape…’ Click here to read my album of the week on sinfinimus.com.