Janusz Wawrowski - violin
Grzegorz Nowak - conductor
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra


Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 70

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 35

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Rising from THE ashes…

PHOENIX album is the first studio recording of Ludomir Różycki’s Violin Concerto, reconstructed on the basis of discovered fragments of the orchestration. In 1944 war-torn Warsaw, the composer was extremely well known both at home and abroad and started to put pen to paper and create the violin concerto. Alas, with the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising, Różycki was forced to flee the capital, putting a stop to his creative workflow and leaving behind fragments of his manuscripts. The Concerto for Violin and Orchestra was considered lost for many years after.

The discovery of the manuscript allowed Janusz Wawrowski to reconstruct the work completely. Following the reconstruction, he travelled to London and recorded the piece for the first ever time with the world renowned Royal Philharmonic Orchestra . With the release of this album and its performances worldwide, Różycki’s concerto takes on a new lease of life and is no longer a “victim” lost during World War 2. Quite literally rising from the ashes, it is a testimony of recovered national cultural heritage, which undoubtedly deserves to be heard!

On this album I decided to compile Ludomir Różycki’s Concerto together with Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto which is of course well known to all music lovers. Both of these works share a romantic character, a specific overtone fantasy and fairy tales, whilst each composer wrote these works in painful periods of their lives  – Tchaikovsky after a difficult breakdown of his marriage and Różycki during the war, in the year of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising (1944). The melodies seem to enchant dark reality, bring perspective and create a world better than the real one. Tchaikovsky is an exceptional composer for me, the first one with style and creativity resembling film music, although it was written long before the era of the movie theaters. Both composers treat the orchestra in a colorful, visual way – they both wrote operas and ballets. I associate Różycki’s work with Gershwin or Korngold, leading directly in the Hollywood style, but also exploring a Slavic note. Różycki treats the solo violin part similarly to Tchaikovsky. Their compositional techniques are alike and a manner of imagining this instrument part on top of a symphony orchestra, even though Różycki created his work 65 years after Tchaikovsky, having a much wider instrumental range at his disposal. 

Piotr Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto has accompanied me since I was a child. Everyone knows it well, violinists all over the world perform it on stages and competitions, and indeed it brought many awards also to me. Paired with Różycki’s Concerto – recently discovered, and unknown to the wider public – and thus forming a very powerful musical duet. Both of these works take me to a fantastical world of imagination, dreams and miracles. I really do hope that my feeling of this special sound-world is shared by the listener, whilst in turn PHOENIX becomes a recording in their collection to revisit time after time.