Reviews

 

The orchestra proves an outstanding ensemble, full of expression, precision, virtuosity with a complete palette of nuances, tones and contrasts.

 E.M., Maurice André et l’orchestre Wienawski ont ouvert avec éclat le deuxième festival de

musique d’Evian, “La Dauphine”, Evian (France), 22.05.1977

 

No sooner had she raised the baton than the girl gave way to a conductor of excellent skills and great authority. [...] The overused expression “conductor’s grip of an orchestra” is fully legitimate when used about Agnieszka: her large, strong hands sometimes open wide, sometimes embrace like fog. [...] Success, applause and flowers for Agnieszka and the great orchestra.

Ivana Musiani, Serenada in stile floreale alla città cara ai polacchi. Una donna, Agnieszka

Duczmal, sul podio direttoriale (e che brava), “Paese Sera”, Milano (Italia), 31.08.1981

 

Breathtaking musicality and a completely fresh approach to the standard classical repertoire characterized the concert. [...] Encores and applause for a new celebrity. For me Agnieszka Duczmal has to be the musical revelation of 1984.

S. S., A New Note Scores Encore, “Evening Advertiser”, Swindon (UK), 24.03.1984

 

The ensemble surprises and dazzles with its brilliant technique. To achieve such outstanding natural perfection, each musician had to go to quite some lengths to subordinate his performance to the foremost objective: the orchestra’s uniform sound.

 

J. A. Cubiles, Con un brillante concierto a cargo de la Orquestra de Cámara de la Radio de

Polonia, “Canarias”, Las Palmas (España), 19.10.1984

 

The visitors from Poznań showed the highest artistry of playing their instruments and once again presented their virtuosity. In short: a wonderful evening of chamber music!

 

GOE, Wie ein heisser Windzug, “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, Frankfurt

(Deutschland), 18.01.1984

 

There is no doubt about it: the Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra is one of the crack ensembles of our time.

 

Eric McLean, Crack Ensemble Revives Classics, “The Gazette”, Montréal (Canada),

7.10.1985

 

Still there was ample opportunity to enjoy this orchestra’s greatest strength: its silky, supple and refined pianos achieved by players who responded unanimously to their conductor’s ambitious tempo fluctuations.

 

Richard Morisson, Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra / Duczmal – Queen Elisabeth Hall,

“The Times”, London (UK), 15.10.1985

 

 Agnieszka Duczmal is first-rate in the creation of orchestral colours.

 Donald Caldwell, Polish Orchestra Performs with Sparkling Precision, “The Village Times”,

New York (USA), 10.10.1985

 

Twenty of outstanding musicians respond with precision to the instructions of their conductor; it is a good example of technical amalgamation and mutual spiritual understanding. The supreme triumph of the Polish representatives was absolute.

 

L.H., Ascequible y atractivo programa de la Orquestra de Cámara Polaca

”ABC” (Spain), 13.04.1986

 

Sensitivity, harmony, and perfection. Absolute precision, excellent technique and delicacy reign while Le Quattro Stagioni by Vivaldi is performed by Polish Radio and Television Chamber Orchestra.

 

Balala Campos, Os músicos da Polônia em única apresentação, “Zero Hora” (Brasil),

19.08.1987

 

All the discussions about baroque music seem to be out of place when Bach’s and Vivaldi’s works are performed by Agnieszka Duczmal and her Chamber Orchestra. Apparently, the conductor is personally inspired by Terpsichore, so full of fantasy is her conducting method.

 

G.B., Beflügelt durch Terpsychore, “Die Welt” (Deutschland), 9.02.1987

 

Duczmal’s shaping of phrases was nonpareil for its artistry.

 

Bob Brink, Polish Orchestra Extremely Polished, “The Palm Beach Post” (USA), 4.03.1988

 

The Poles played Josef Suk’s radiantly disposed, frightfully difficult Serenade in E flat major op. 6 for strings [...] The Serenade is a work of compelling beauty, romantic to the core. The performance was a marvel of coordination, intention and spirit.

 

Frank Cooper, Polish Orchestra Makes Strong Debut, “The Miami Herald” (USA),

1.03.1988

 

Once in a while one hears a performance that is so stunningly right, so far and away above the usual performance in musical understanding – in sound, interpretation and style - that one wakes up to the fact that one has gradually begun to become accustomed to the second rate. Such an awakener was the performance by the Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra Tuesday night. [...] The secret to this extraordinary ensemble is without a doubt its conductor, Agnieszka Duczmal.

 

Juliette de Marcellus, Polish Orchestra Enthralls Listeners, “Palm Beach Daily News”

(USA), 3.03.1988

 

Is a conductor’s influence all that obvious any more? [...] The Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra gave a good reminder of the effect of putting conductor and ensemble together [...] Agnieszka Duczmal has spent the time achieving a stunning rapport with the orchestra, which responds lovingly to every caress of her baton.

 

B.A. Nilsson, Polish Chamber Orchestra Exciting in Union Concert, “Schenectady Gazette”

(USA), 18.02.1988

 

Ensemble which must now rank among the finest of its kind in the world, possessed of a distinctive sound, an enviable legato and an exceptional leader in Duczmal, who manages to combine commanding energy with a stylish elegance of direction more obviously at ease than any of her British counterparts. Above all Duczmal has an inquiring mind that never takes the music at face value. She shapes and shades the phrasing of her orchestra with striking originality.

 

Michael John White, French Without Laughs, “The Independent”, London (UK),

15.05.1989

 

Charm, elegance and consistency were the hallmarks of the conductor who all the time led the ensemble in a manner that one very rarely gets to see on stage, i.e. in perfect consonance of all instruments, situating each of the performed pieces in a suitable sonorous stylistics.

 

M.S.G.-P, Brillante comienzo de temporada en la Finlarmonica, “Diario de Ávila”

(España), 16.10.1990

 

Behind the conductor’s stand of Amadeus Chamber Orchestra we saw Agnieszka Duczmal. Charming, and full of temperament, the conductor evokes Mozart’s spirit in a manner that is buoyant and full of energy.

 

ME, Musikalische Bonbons “Westfällische Rundschau”, Dortmund (Deutschland),

6.10.1992

 

From the very first moments, the audience were captivated by the orchestra whose musicians share sheer joy of delivery. [...] Moving from one piece to another, Agnieszka Duczmal aroused her orchestra and inspired it with effusion and precision. [...] The audience paid genuine homage to the orchestra and its leader applauding them endlessly [...]. A well-merited triumph.

 

CF, Le triomphe mérité, “Paris Normandie” (France), 15.07.1992

 

Amadeus Chamber Orchestra proved to be an ensemble of utmost quality. What it showed in terms of purity of intonation, perfection of consonance, ability to modulate and lightness of expression was truly a work of genius.

 

DWS, Feinfühlige Pianistin faszinierte, “Ruhr-Nachrichten”, Dortmund

(Deutschland), 5.10.1992

 

The dynamics used the entire range between extreme pianissimo and fortissimo. Agnieszka Duczmal conducts with charming, persuasive gestures and her musicians react with minute precision.

 

WZ, Erstklassig – mit starken Einbrüchen, “Düsseldorfer Nachrichten“

(Deutschland), 20.02.1992

 

She is a joy to behold: she is short and lively, and she sways like a fame. Obviously there is great sympathy between her and her players and between the players themselves.

 

Rhoda Partridge, Music the Audience Won’t Quickly Forget, “Walls Journal” (UK),

24.03.1992

 

When the astonishing “coda” brought the work to a close there was a moment of stunned silence before the audience burst into applause and unusual for the British, rose to their feet with shouts of “Bravo!”.

 

Rhoda Partridge, Encore Proves a Real Treat, “Hereford Times” (UK), 24.03.1992

 

Agnieszka Duczmal, a first-rate musician of vivid temperament, who cuts short any discussion on whether being an orchestra conductor becomes a woman, and who makes the uncommonness of such a phenomenon bury obdurate musical chauvinism. [...] Agnieszka Duczmal’s strong association with the Amadeus stems from the several years of her assiduous work with the ensemble; it is also an example of how a good orchestra should be built. Without a doubt, the pinnacle experience was the performance of R. Shchedrin’s Carmen Suite. It proved an ideal challenge for the ensemble’s performance skills, which were evident in the refined and stronger fragments replete with sounds.”

M. Stanetti, Uzbudljiv Susret s Amadeusom, ”Vecernji List”, Zagreb (Hrvatska), 25.01.1993

 

Amadeus Chamber Orchestra had a guest performance at the Great Hall of the Musikverein. With its programme going far beyond the established patterns, and with its ravishing conductor, the orchestra presents itself as an excellent ensemble.

 

H.S., Sie dirigiert ganz locker, “Wiener Zeitung” (Österreich), 29.01.1993

 

It was with masculine determination, but also with feminine subtlety that Agnieszka Duczmal conducted Amadeus chamber orchestra to achieve truly acrobatic sound effects, to thicken and thin sound intensity of the more or less continuous rhythmical tension. [...] Conclusion: A valuable concert, an original program and an orchestra that surpassed our orchestras. Enthusiasm and encores.

 

G. Maz, Un raffinato Mozart diretto dalla Duczmal ”La notte”, Milano (Italia), 20.01.1994

 

The audience waiting in the Conservatorio were greeted which an outburst of the Polish strings from the Amadeus. [...] Enthusiasm.

 

Franca Cella, Bacchetta al femminile, guizzo d’immagini, “Corriere della Sera”, Milano

(Italia), 22.01.1994

 

Splendid Mozart. I do not think we haveheard such enchanting, passionate, and at the same time dynamically varied Mozart with delightful pianissimo effect. [...] The Amadeus Chamber Orchestra presented a perfect interpretation ofMozart. Agnieszka Duczmal well deserves the title“Woman of the World”. Petite, strong, elegant, and full of temperament, she proves a worldclass conductor. [...] I could not name a German chamber orchestra that could present such a perfect interpretation of Mozart.

 

V. Lewinski, Faszinierendes Aufblühen einer Mozart-Melodie, “Wiesbadener Tagblatt –

Allgemeine Zeitung Mainz”, Mainz (Deutschland), 26.07.1996

 


The orchestra played triumphantly and vigorously.


Roland Furch, Kraft wirkte ansteckend, “Mainzer Rhein-Zeitung“ (Deutschland),

26.07.1996

 

The soul of the orchestra and conductor is a woman. From the very beginning, Agnieszka Duczmal shows her strong personality and thorough focus on the piece of music, which enables her to extract the elements of real, earthly beauty from the compositions.

 

Annely Zeni, Signora bacchetta. Agnieszka sul podio per meritati applausi, “Alto Adige”,

Trento (Italia), 17.03.1997

 

Just think that there are still people who have doubts about women with the baton! After we saw and familiarised ourselves with the outcome of Agnieszka Duczmal’s work. [...] All one can use talking about Poland’s Amadeus Chamber Orchestra is nothing but enthusiastic vocabulary.

 

Fedra Florit, Donna sul podio, estroversa. Entusiasma la Duczmal con L’Amadeus

Chamber Orchestra “Il Piccolo”, Monfalcone (Italia), 13.03.1997

 

Agnieszka Duczmal’s proficiency and musicality lets the ensemble get involved in and adapt to various musical styles and environments, whose exemplary demonstration we saw at the concert. [...] [The audience] were so delighted with Di Meola’s music-making with Amadeus that they would not let the artists off the stage.

 

Dorota Szwarcman, Wielka pasja. Al di Meola z Agnieszką Duczmal, ”Jazz Forum”

(Polska), 12 /2000

Duczmal was the only one to show just how important is the ability to play with silence.

 

Patrycja Kujawska, Nowe szaty. I Festiwal Muzyki Polskiej,

”Tygodnik Powszechny” (Polska) nr 48, 27.11.2005

 

As usual with Agnieszka Duczmal, her interpretations of the Sextets by Brahms are thoughtout in detail, and, at the same time, planned as a whole. Built in a clear and transparent way, the form also boasts well-planned culminations. [...] Violas sound excellent, particularly on the second track. Cellos, to which Brahms entrusts important thematic parts, are exquisite. Violins come close to the ideal: bowing is magnificent, accents are strong, almost drum-like, without the all-too-frequent interference; the pianissimo sounds wonderful. The fantastic harmony between Agnieszka Duczmal and her ensemble lets the musicians achieve effects that are not very common, like underlining harmonic changes with the timbre of the sound.

 

Krzysztof Komarnicki, Agnieszka Duczmal / Amadeus vol. 5 – Brahms PRCD 0085,

”Ruch Muzyczny” (Polska) nr 17, 21.08.2005

 

The conductor Agnieszka Duczmal has been moulding her Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio like wax for decades. Revealing marvellously smooth elegance of movement, she weaves delicate Neo-Baroque sounds of the strings in Tansman’s “Variations on a Theme by Frescobaldi,” elicits a lot of charm from salon “Serenade” Op. 2 by Karłowicz, and displays such fireworks of virtuosity for encore as part of Rossini’s “Wilhelm Tell” Overture, or [Leroy Anderson’s] perpetuum mobile plucked in a very funny way. However, it is the red carpet of sounds the Polish musicians roll out before their compatriot that is the most convincing [...]; endlessly colourful, at times it shows changeably unruly, at other times velvety soft fragments.

 

Christian Strehk, Phänomene aus Polen, ”Kieler Nachrichten“, 13.08.2010

 

This is what spring sounds like: fresh, slightly fragrant air - so ethereal was Divertimento KV 138 at one of those rare concerts when a lady takes to the conductor’s stand. Agnieszka Duczmal and Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio, which she founded in 1968, played the Divertimento in a manner that was very precise and full of musicality. And all this with a mere nineteen strings...

 

JG Mit Mozart munter in den Frühling, ”Ruhr Nachrichten. Dortmunder Kultur“,

14.03.2011

 

Agnieszka Duczmal’s transcription of Juliusz Zarębski’s Piano Quintet is quite original and enriches the attractive chamber music work. In a pure string sound, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition sounds unusual. However the transcription works fairly well and obtains a sensible alternative to Ravel.

 

Remy Franck, Duczmals sinnvole alternative zu Ravel, pizzicato, 4.02.2013

 

Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio, which played under Agnieszka Duczmal on the night, revealed uncommon alertness to create an interpretation one can only dream of. How much precision and charm boasts the ensemble’s performance; fixed rhythmical requirements delivered in such a way as if we were dealing with spontaneous rubato that surprises at the least expected moment. Combined with lightness of the phrase, naturalness of timbre, and ability to balance the dynamics, it aroused great enthusiasm among the audience. [...]

 

Adam Olaf Gibowski, Na początku był zachwyt, kulturaupodstaw.pl (Polska), 07.10.2015

 

Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio stands for quality many an ensemble can dream of. Their performances are recognised in Poland and in the world, and the name of Duczmal has become synonymous with incredibly interesting interpretations.

 

Aleksandra Bliźniuk, Rozważnie i romantycznie, kultura.poznan.pl (Polska), 1.10.2017

The success credits the conductor, Anna Duczmal-Mróz. More and more often, I observe an imposing completeness of [her] musical personality, which yields truly magnificent fruit. The conductor is fond of details – she links the success of the macro form to nuances. This is perceptible, in particular in these difficult phrases with abrupt rhythm changes; the artist is very attentive, and she can ensure appropriate rubato. Anna Duczmal-Mróz passed this difficult exam with a distinction. The conductress deserves such a high score first and foremost due to her creation of appropriately dramatic, yet not overcomplicated tension in the last movement in the work. [...] the expressive and consistent vision created by Anna Duczmal-Mróz on the basis of an interplay of contrasts produced a most satisfying outcome. Bravo, may we live to see a record of this performance!

 

Adam Olaf Gibowski, Spełniony sen o Mahlerze, kulturaupodstaw.pl (Polska), 4.04.2017

 

Then came “Pictures at an Exhibition” in A. Duczmal’s arrangement for a string orchestra.Is it at all possible? In their highest-quality performance which abounded in articulatory means, the orchestra proved it is.

 

Verena Naegele, Aus einer anderer Welt, ”Basler Zeitung” (Österreich), 16.04.2017

 

Musicians of the Amadeus give the composition bold contours and a lot of inner fire. They play with nerve, passionately; their style is intoxicating and electrifying. [...] In [Weinberg’s] Symphony no. 10 for string orchestra, mother Agnieszka passes the baton on to her daughter. Anna Duczmal inspires the orchestra
with exceptional clarity and amazing nuances, as well as with play loaded with tension. There is no doubt: this apple didn’t fall far from the tree, or in this case - the baton didn’t fall far from the podium.

 

Remy Franck, Spannendes Weinberg – Programm aus Posen,

www.pizzicato.lu (Luxembourg / Lëtzebuerg), 20.11.2015

 

In this interpretation, Weinberg tastes simply fantastic [...] turns out to be an explosion of moods and rhythms [...] Wonderful. More Weinberg!

 

Tomasz Cyz, Wajnberg Nowickiej i Amadeusa, “Ruch Muzyczny” (Polska), 2 /2016

 

Conducted by Agnieszka Duczmal, the Amadeus deliver an interpretation of perfectly balanced dark emotionality. However, it does not overwhelm the listener, neither with volume nor with intensity of texture. To penetrate into the audience’s imagination, this uneasy music [of Strauss’s Metamorphosen] has to be adequately transmitted, subtly rather than explicitly. And this is what we hear on the album. The recording [of Haydn’s Ariadne auf Naxos] enchants with exquisite cooperation between the soloist and the orchestra. Agnieszka Duczmal understands perfectly well it is the singer, not the bar line that is the master in vocal-instrumental music. And one gets to hear it. Podleś’s voice sounds unbounded, and full freedom of breath and large resonance makes an unbelievable impression of wide spaces. The duo of the most renowned Polish conductor and the illustrious singer simply had to become a success. A genuine icing on the cake is the record’s third track, i.e. Dido’s lament from Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas. The dark timbre of Ewa Podleś’s voice, mixed with the dark timbre of the Amadeus, is sure to move even the toughest listeners to tears.

 

Adam Olaf Gibowski, Muzyka, która wzruszy głaz, www.kulturaupodstaw.pl (Polska),

2.03.2017