One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools


Buy through MusicWeb for £12.50 postage paid World-wide. Immediate delivery
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque to avoid PayPal. Contactfor details

Purchase button

Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913-1994)

Milczące serceSilent Heart (1957) [4:58]
Z lat dziecinnychChildhood Days (1962) [6:03]
W lunaparkuIn an Amusement Park (1958) [3:26]
Jeden przystanek dalejOne Stop Further (1961) [5:12]
CzarownicaWitch (1957) [5:12]
Nie oczekuję dziś nikogoI Haven’t Been Waiting For Anyone Today (1959) [6:48]
Znajdziesz mniewszę mnie wszędzie – You’ll Find Me Everywhere (1964) [4:30]
Cyrk jedzieThe Circus is Coming (1957) [5:40]
Po co śpiewać piosenkiWhy Sing Songs (1960) [3:26]
Miłość i świat - Love and the World (1958) [5:15]
Warszawski dorożkarzWarsaw Cab-Driver (1958) [5:41]
Milczące serceSilent Heart (1957) [5:30]
Mariusz Klimek (vocal); Krzysztof Herdzin (piano, keyboards, arrangements); Marek Podkowa (tenor saxophone); Marcin Murawsli (bass guitar); Cezary Konrad (percussion)
rec. live, Studio PiK Bydgoszcz, 8 June 2005


It is a truism that for a serious composer it isn’t easy to earn a living; it was particularly hard for an independently minded, adventurous composer who wrote ‘difficult’ music to do so in communist Eastern Europe. For Witold Lutosławski one source of income, in the years after the relative ‘thaw’ which followed the death of Stalin, was the writing of popular songs. Between 1957 and 1964 he wrote some thirty-six songs to popular dance rhythms – chiefly waltzes, foxtrots and tangos. The songs were published under a pseudonym. At first that pseudonym was to be ‘Bardos’ – but when he chose that name he was unaware of the existence of the Hungarian composer Lajos Bardos. Obliged to choose another pseudonym he settled on ‘Derwid’ – an interesting choice. Derwid was one of the heroes – a harp-playing hero - of a nationalistic poem (Lilla Weneda) by Julius Słowacki (1809-1849), a revolutionary poet and advocate of democracy.

The ‘Derwid’ songs were popular as performed by Polish singers such as Rene Rolska, Hanna Rek, Ludmila Jakubczak and Mieczysław Fogg. Later, Lutosławski himself was happy to forget about this aspect of his work and the rediscovery of the ‘Derwid’ songs only really happened around the time of a series of events arranged to mark the tenth anniversary of his death. In 2004 at least two events included performances of some of the songs at concerts in Krakow and Warsaw. The concert in Krakow featured the excellent jazz singer Lora Szafran.

What we have here, on this new CD from Acte Préalable is, in effect, a series of jazz improvisations on themes provided by some of Lutosławski’s ‘Derwid’ songs. For ‘straight’ performances one would have to go to recordings such as Rene Rolska’s ‘hit’ version of Nie oczekuję dziś nikog. Indeed, I wonder if this current CD, fascinating as it is, doesn’t run the risk of falling between several stools.

The instrumentalists heard here are successful figures on the Polish (and European) jazz scene. The pianist Krzysztof Herdzin was, for some time, the regular pianist of the great Polish alto saxophone player Zbigniew Namyslowski; he has worked as arranger and pianist on at least one film score by Zbigniew Preisner; he has written arrangements for José Cura; he has worked with the Polish coloratura soprano Ewa Małas-Godlewska. He led his own quintet on the 1995 album Chopin (Polonia CD 056), hard bop improvisations on Chopin which are – unlikely as it sounds – oddly satisfying. He was pianist and arranger on Namyslowski’s album Mozart Goes Jazz (Jazz Forum 019). The drummer, Cezary Konrad, is an experienced musician who has accompanied musicians such as Namyslowski, the singer Urszula Dudziak and Americans such as trumpeter Randy Brecker. He has also worked with the Sinfonia Varsova. The bass player and the tenor saxophonist also have long and distinguished CVs as jazz musicians. And all this shows in the work of the quartet – never less than highly competent, occasionally inspired. Judged as a jazz album, the work of this instrumental quartet deserves high praise. There are some excellent solos by Herdzin and Podkowa, in particular. But the relative weakness comes, I fear, in the singing of Mariusz Klimek who seems to be the driving force behind the project but who, it seems to me, is simply not a fully convincing jazz singer - even if he did win first prize in the Jazz Song Festival at Elblag in 1992. He lacks the rhythmic flexibility, the adventurousness, the quasi-instrumental quality of voice. He doesn’t, to put it at its simplest, swing. A shame, because he can obviously sing. I am not surprised to learn from the CD booklet that he has been singing a good deal of baroque repertoire.

It is difficult to know quite what audience this CD has in mind. The jazz audience will find things to enjoy, but some of them will perhaps share my reservations about Mariusz Klimek’s singing. Lutosławski’s tunes prove decent material for jazz musicians to work with, but are really no better, in this respect, than hundred of others by less distinguished composers. If one wants to hear Herdzin and his colleagues simply playing jazz, there are other CDs on which they can be heard to better effect. No doubt Lutosławski specialists will want the CD, but they will perhaps wish to hear the songs performed ‘straighter’? The general ‘classical’ listener is unlikely to find much here of lasting interest.

So, an oddity. I have enjoyed the CD – but then I am both a follower of jazz and an enthusiast for modern Polish music. Perhaps one needs to be both to find this CD of lasting interest, and the interest in jazz is probably the more important qualification.

Glyn Pursglove


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk Acousmatic Music


October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus


Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.