Sunday 23 April 2023

Sir Andrzej Panufnik's Composing Myself

Andrzej Panufnik: Composing Myself - Toccata Press

Sir Andrzej Panufnik famously said that he communicated in music not words, but his autobiography, Composing Myself, which was published in 1987 conveys the remarkable drama of Panufnik's life. It is now being re-issued by the ever-enterprising Toccata Press as part of a two-volume edition of Panufnik's complete writings. The new edition includes detailed annotations, an introduction from Simon Callow and a final chapter by Camilla, Lady Panufnik detailing the composer’s momentous return to Warsaw in 1990 (having defected to the West in 1954, he refused to return to his native Poland until democracy had been restored).

There was a launch for the new edition of Composing Myself at the Polish Hearth Club (Ognisko Polskie) on Friday, when there was a chance to hear Lady Panufnik and her children, Roxanna (a composer) and Jem Panufnik (graphic artist, DJ and composer of electronica), in conversation with Martin Anderson of Toccata Press as well as the chance to hear some of Andrezj Panufnik's music. 

We heard pianist Lucas Krupinski play two movements from Andrzej Panufnik's Hommage a Chopin; originally a vocalise from 1949, in 1966 Andrzej Panufnik arranged it for flute and chamber orchestra, and we heard it in an arrangement for solo piano by Andrzej Panufnik's daughter Roxanna. Then Krupinski was joined by cellist Kacper Nowak for Dreamscape, originally a vocalise for mezzo-soprano and piano from 1977.

Full details of the new edition of Sir Andrzej Panufnik's autobiography, Composing Myself from Toccata Classics.

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