Panufnik: Symphony No. 9 and Bassoon Concerto


BBC Symphony Orchestra

HTGCD266 – 5060332660544

To mark the centenary of the birth of Andzej Panufkik (1914-1991), Heritage is proud to release a composer-conducted performance of his Symphony No.9 and Bassoon Concerto, in which he collaborates with Robert Thompson for whom the piece was written.

  1. Composer’s introduction: Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra 3.12
  2. Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra 19.20
  3. Composer’s introduction: Symphony No. 9 3.45
  4. Symphony No. 9 ‘Sinfonia di Speranza’ 40.37

Total time: 66’56’’

BBC Symphony Orchestra

Sir Andrzej Panufnik (conductor)

Robert Thompson (bassoon)

A studio recording made on 6th October 1987 for BBC Radio 3, first broadcast in 1990.

Producer: Roger Wright


  1. admin

    ‘The eloquence achieved pays tribute to both composer and bassoonist in equal measure – a true synthesis of talents dedicated to a complex yet highly focussed objective.’
    Colin Fairburn, Double Reed News, Autumn 2014

  2. admin

    ‘With the original soloist Robert Thompson… more layers of meaning emerge… and the soloist’s singing lines carry greater conviction… The idealism of the Sinfonia di Speranza could hardly be more authentically conveyed.’
    BBC Music Magazine, June 2014

  3. admin

    ‘The profound intensity of the music-making shines through with great potency. That is particularly evident in the Bassoon Concerto. Just as he started work on the Concerto, Panufnik heard of the torture and murder of the priest Father Jerzy Popieuszko and decided to dedicate it to his memory. With its humorous connotations, it might seem risky to use the bassoon as a vehicle to express profound grief but such is the power of Panufnik’s writing that what, in other hands, might sound clownish here evokes almost vocal utterances of pain and sorrow. Thompson clearly understands the emotional significance of the work and, supported by alert and incisive playing from the BBC SO, gives a performance of compelling intensity.’
    Gramophone, July 2014

  4. admin

    ‘This CD, with its exemplary performances and vivid sound quality, deserves to attract a wider listening public to the powerful, lyrical, mournful and sometimes gritty music of Panufnik. The spoken introductions by the composer are a nice finishing touch.’
    MusicWeb International, June 2014

  5. admin

    ‘There is something compelling about Robert Thompson’s tone and musicianship that makes his performance unforgettable. I’m delighted these recordings have been released’
    Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 CD Review, June 2014

  6. admin

    ‘The first commercial release by Heritage of one of his sessions with the BBC Symphony Orchestra is much to be welcomed… Thompson invests the Bassoon Concerto with an emotional acuity equal to that of his studio recording, while the forward balance and more numerous string desks again male this seem a bigger and more involving piece… an important archival release.’
    International Record Review, May 2014

  7. admin

    ‘The Bassoon Concerto is a memorial for the tortured and murdered Polish priest Father Jerzy Popieluszko, and has a pronounced grainy grimness offset by dramatic impulses and Thompson’s beautiful lyric tone. The hopeful symphony not only takes the rainbow as a symbol, but endeavours to translate its optical principles into music. This altogether remarkable and gripping structure is conceived as a 40-minute continuous melodic line.’
    The Sunday Times April 2014

  8. admin

    ‘Comprising a pair of BBC Symphony Orchestra studio performances recorded shortly before his death in 1991, it profiles the elegiac power of the Bassoon Concerto in a heartfelt reading by Robert Thompson, who commissioned it.
    The symphony (Sinfonia di Speranza) is an equally thoughtful, if more long-winded, exploration of Panufnik’s metaphysical preoccupations.’

    Financial Times March 2014

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