A unique programme of works by father and daughter 

Sir Andrzej Panufnik was a leading Polish composer of the 20th Century, and his daughter Roxanna has made a name for herself in her own right as a contemporary composer in the 21st. This disc, programmed by Roxanna to combine works by both her and her father, explores the parallels between their two musical languages and forms a touching tribute to Andrzej from his daughter.


What people are saying

"This is intensely personal music-making, beautifully performed." The Observer, May 2014

Heather Shipp

Subito Piano Trio

Release date:1st May 2014
Order code:SIGCD380
Barcode: 635212038024

Varied selection of songs and piano trios by father and daughter

This year is Andrzej Panufnik’s centenary and this disc from Signum combines his music with that of his daughter, Roxanna. The mezzo-soprano Heather Shipp is joined by the Subito Piano Trio (Lech Napterala, piano, Magdalena Szczepanowska, violin, Piortr Hausenplas, cello) performing Andrzej Panufnik’s Love Song, Dreamscape and Piano Trio, Roxanna Panufnik’s Mine Eye, Sweet Love Remember’d, That Mighty Heart, Virtue and Around Three Corners, plus their joint composition Moditwa.

Andrzej Panufnik’s Love Song from 1977 sets a sonnet by Sir Philip Sidney and was written for Peter and Meriel Dickinson. It is a folk-like piece, starts with the voice keening over a simple piano part before getting thrillingly passionate.

The next pair of songs are by Roxanna Panufnik. Mine Eye from 1999 sets a sonnet by Shakespeare, it is plain and quite austere work, expressively projecting the text well. Sweet Love Remember’d from 2005 sets another Shakespeare sonnet. Again the text is projected with clarity, but it is passionate too. The melodic material has rather an edgy feel, until the poignant final lines.

In 1990 Andrzej Panufnik set a prayer by his friend, the Polish poet Jerzy Pietrkiewicz. In fact Panufnik set just the second verse and had the first verse narrated. Roxanna Panufnik then set the first verse in 1999 creating a composite piece. It is an evocative piece, with the fascinating transition from Panufnik senior to junior and back again.

Another pair of Roxanna’s songs follow. The Mighty Heart from 2008 sets Wordsworth. It is a passionate lyrical arioso, the music sounding rather expressionist. Virtue was written in 1992 for a memorial concert to Andrzej Panufnik and was premiered by Heather Shipp. Setting George Herbert, it has a magical piano texture with a poised solo from Shipp.

 Andrzej Panufnik’s Dreamscape is played by two members of the Subito Piano Trio, Lech Napterala, piano, and Piortr Hausenplas, cello. The work was originally a vocalise written in 1977, and here performed in a version for cello and piano. It is a haunting piece, with a lovely singing cello and Panufnik’s familiar major/minor melancholy. Fragile at first, it develops real intensity.

Roxanna’s Around Three Corners for piano trio was written in 1995. It is somewhat palindromic in structure, a set of variations with the main them in the centre though the structure is not as strictly palindromic as one of her father’s pieces. The material has a complex and attractive texture, with a similar major/minor tonality to Andrzej Panufnik’s work, and a lovely variety to the different sections.

Andrzej Panufnik’s Piano Trio Op. 1 was written he was 19 and still a student at the Warsaw State Conservatoire. It was revised in 1944 after being destroyed in the Warsaw Uprising. The opening movement is rather romantic and not a little bluesy, with some lovely instrumental writing. The central Largo has a haunting singing melody over a gentle rocking accompaniment. The Presto finale is lively and rather humorous, and not a little spiky.

The CD booklet includes an illuminating article by Roxanna Panufnik, plus full texts and translations.

This is a fascinating disc which sheds light on the music of Andrzej Panufnik and his daughter. It is clear that the programme has a strong personal connection for Roxanna Panufnik, but I am not certain that it works as well as it could as a satisfying musical programme. All four of Roxanna’s songs on the disc are quite steady in terms of tempo and I think the programme would have benefited from a little more variety of tempo and tone. I would also have like to hear a little more of Andrzej Panufnik’s songs on the disc.

Heather Shipp gives deeply felt performances, though her vibrato might be rather too pronounced for some people. The Subito Piano Trio give admirable performances and bring the music to life. The disc provides the opportunity to hear some more of Andrzej Panufnik’s smaller scale works.

Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, July 2014

This must be a first: a father-daughter disc in which both are the composers. The centenary of Andrzej Panufnik (1914-91) is being celebrated this year. It’s a wonderful opportunity to revisit his delicate, jewel-like music, at once appealing, rigorous and poignant. Today the name Panufnik is as frequently associated with Roxanna, who has masterminded this disc in tribute to her father. It includes piano trio by each, songs by each, and one song – Modlitwa – which he started and she, years after his death, completed. Love Song, a setting of Phillp Sidney which Andrzej dedicated to his wife, Camilla, makes a heartfelt opening. Dreamscape, a vocalise here played by cello and piano, dates from the same period. This is intensely personal music-making, beautifully performed. 

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, May 2014

The centenary of the birth of Andrzej Panufnik is marked in his adopted country by special performances and recordings, including these songs and trios by the composer who was born in Warsaw at the start of the First World War, and by his daughter. 

The father’s songs to fine English texts – Philip Sidney, Shakespeare – are shot through with melancholy, even when celebrating love, always aware that 1055 is built into that blissful state; Roxanna, born in London, marvels at her city as Wordsworth did, from westminster Bridge in That Mighty Heart, and her delight in her life bubbles through her piano trio Around Three Corners.

But Andrzej’s cello vocalise, Virtue, and his early Piano Trio Opus 1 steal the show.

Independent on Sunday, Claudia Pritchard

 If the works of Polish composer Andrzej Panufnik (1914-1991) have been one of my favourite discoveries of recent years, I was no less pleased to become acquainted with the compositions of his daughter Roxanna (*1969). This CD contains music by both of them, a truly rare occurrence. And it is amazing how their shared genes – as daughter Roxanna writes in the booklet – have played out in the compositions. Father and daughter resemble each other closely in their songs – one of which is composed of sections of Andrzej’s music and other sections penned by Roxanna – and they both delve deeply into the lyrics in order to express the moods of the written word in music.

The two chamber music works, ‘Dreamscape’ and ‘Around Three Corners’, also demonstrate something that Roxanna writes about in her introduction: "Our two styles are, in different ways, neither conservative nor progressive, making them difficult to classify." Both composers have a love of lyricism, neither reduces their music to the intellect or constructions, both have something to communicate, and both compose based on moods in order to create moods. The moving piano trio, an early work by Andrzej, shows the desire for communication and the deeply-rooted inner passions of the nineteen-year-old composer.
Certainly there are also significant differences between the music of the two composers, but Roxanna has designed this CD so that their common aspects are identifiable as a theme. The programme, executed by the performers with great dedication and talent, thus makes a wonderful homage by a daughter to her dad on his 100th birthday.

Pizzicato, Remy Franck

  1. Love Song – Andrzej Panufnik – 4.19
  2. Mine Eye – Roxanna Panufnik – 4.40
  3. Sweet Love Remember’d – Roxanna Panufnik – 5.05
  4. Modlitwa – Andrzej Panufnik, Roxanna Panufnik – 4.32
  5. That Mighty Heart – Roxanna Panufnik – 3.11
  6. Virtue – Roxanna Panufnik – 6.14
  7. Dreamscape – Andrzej Panufnik – 9.21
  8. Around Three Corners – Roxanna Panufnik – 9.43
  9. Piano Trio, Op. 1: I. Poco Adagio – Allegro – Poco Adagio – Andrzej Panufnik – 8.43
  10. Piano Trio, Op. 1: II. Largo – Andrzej Panufnik – 4.43
  11. Piano Trio, Op. 1: III. Presto – Andrzej Panufnik – 3.55