'The piano works of Andrzej and Roxanna Panufnik find an outstandingly intelligent interpreter in Clare Hammond.
While Andrzej Panufnik (1914-1991) is now fairly well represented in the market for recorded music, his daughter Roxanna Panufnik (b. 1968) is only occasionally an "object of desire". On this SACD, father and daughter are now connected to all intents as one inseparable composer, thanks to Roxanna's endeavour to take up and even extend her father's work. This primarily concerns 'Modlitwa' ('Prayer') from 1990, which was supplemented in 1999 by Roxanna Panufnik with a second part, then arranged for piano solo in 2013. Another piano transcription is the 'Hommage à Chopin' from 1949/1955, originally scored for voice and piano, then for flute and chamber orchestra. Roxanna Panufnik transforms the complex instrumental textures sympathetically in lyrically profound, genuine piano compositions, which are brought to life by Clare Hammond with undeniable dedication and commitment. Here she comprehends the idiom of both father and child equally well, and the booklet notes are also evidence of the pianist's deep understanding of the music she plays. Since the sound quality is also a complete success, as is almost to be expected, top rankings are hardly avoidable here.
The piano was not Andrzej Panufnik's main instrument, nor is it his daughter's. If a whole CD is sufficient to contain the complete works (to date) of both of them it is understandable, but it is not a criticism. Andrzej Panufnik wrote only three piano works during his life - yet each of these is of significance: 'Twelve Miniature Studies' (1947, rev 1955/64), which passes through a cycle of fifths from C sharp down to G sharp, 'Reflections' (1968), and 'Pentasonata' (1984) which is based on the pentatonic scale and structured palindromically. The three works are very demanding, both musically and interpretatively, but also rewarding. They push the instrument to its limits - and, in fact, if one must mention a shortcoming, the extreme registers of the piano here are not very well prepared technically. (It might be better to use not a Steinway D, but an instrument with more intimacy, more heat.)
Roxanna Panufnik's two piano compositions 'Second Home' (2003, rev. 2006) and 'Glo' (2002) are not as strong in musical character as those of her father. 'Second Home', a set of variations on the Polish folk song 'Hejze ino, fijołecku leśny!', is rather closer to the music of Polish composer Czesław Marek than to that of the early 21st century. 'Glo' is a short composition written as a memorial for a family friend who died of cancer. Here the musical relationship between father and daughter is evident through their similar use of harmony.'
Dr. Jürgen Schaarwächter