Reviews
Das Orchester, 2/17


Das Orchester, 2/2017

American Record Guide, 04/16

Ruch Muzyczny, 02/16

    NMZ, 11/15

  • “The exceedingly memorable opening Allegro Cantabile is rather ambiguous, attractively tuneful on the surface with an undercurrent of searching and melancholy. Robust playing of the central movement underlines a serious even somewhat lugubrious tone. In the Finale the captivating melody of the opening movement recurs but it’s the undertow of pain and anguish that cuts deep. Soloist Ewelina Nowicka excels with cleanly articulated, beautifully phrased playing of pin-point intonation. In addition there is a lovely rich sound from the low strings. Nowicka is more than a match for the two competing accounts of the Concertino: Linus Roth with the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn under Ruben Gazarian on Challenge Classics and Gidon Kremer with the Kremerata Baltica on ECM New Series. Next we hear the memorable Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes which Weinberg completed for orchestra and for violin and piano. Evidently he recalled preparing a version for violin and orchestra that was performed in 1953 but that score appears to have been lost. On this disc we find an arrangement for violin and string orchestra by Nowicka. The music is heavily accented with Moldavian folk melodies in a stirring, highly lyrical style obsequiously in keeping with the Soviet authorities’ demand for relatively simple melodic and traditional folk music. On the other hand for what are conspicuously Jewish melodies (as with the Violin Concertino) one wonders how on earth Weinberg avoided censure and punishment for ‘Cosmopolitanism’ - Soviet-speak for unwanted Jewish influences. David Fanning in the booklet notes puts forward that Weinberg’s selection of themes may have been related to his mother having originated from Kishinyov the capital of the Russian region of Bessarabia, with its large Jewish population, now mainly part of Moldova. Throughout the score one senses wholehearted involvement by Nowicka who displays extraordinarily high levels of vitality and technical virtuosity. This is highly expressive playing."

    Michael Cookson
    Music Web International, 11/2015
    • Pizzicato, 20/11/15
    • „Die polnische Geigerin und Komponistin Ewelina Nowicka spielt es sehr gefühlvoll, mit einem durchaus weiblichen Touch und viel Innigkeit, aber auch kraftvoll. Die Rhapsode über moldawische Themen hat sie selber für Kammerorchester und Solovioline bearbeitet, und ihr Arrangement funktioniert wunderbar. Auch hier spielen die Solisten und das wie immer hervorragende ‘Amadeus Chamber Orchestra’ unter Agnieszka Duczmal sehr dynamisch und engagiert, so dass das Farbenspektrum dieses Stücks vollauf zum Ausdruck kommt. Sie verleihen dem Werk kräftige Konturen und viel inneres Feuer. Die Amadeus-Musiker spielen nervös, mit Leidenschaft, berauschend und elektrisierend zugleich.“
      Pizzicato
      20.11.2015
      • Böhme Schneverdinger Zeitung, 03.11.15

        Das Orchester, 6/14

        The Strad Magazine, 5/14

        Torun.pl, 19.05.2014

        NMZ, 5/14

        Zycie Kalisza,12.2013

      • “How to describe the music of a young composer - in this case, rather a young female composer? Postmodernism defines this concept of creativity: "anything goes". Stylistic and ideological boundaries do not apply, the division between pop and serious music blurs, and the work of one artist is often characterized by a large variety. Ewelina Nowicka was born in 1982 in Gdansk. She studied violin and pedagogy at the University of Music and Theatre in Hamburg, she passed her exam concert at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bremen. Her classical violin career - master classes, prizes in several competitions and numerous performances with the Polish and German orchestras – she complements by way of the consistent pursuit of education and training in the field of composition. Virtuosity is a feature that can describe the work of Ewelina Nowicka, both in terms of composition and mastering the instrument. Listening to Nowicka’s music we enter the world of the composer’s feelings and experience inspired on one hand by the story of her experienced family, the family strongly associated with the Jewish culture, and on the other by revolutionary stylistic of contemporary music. The inspirations are reflected in her works. "Conventus" is the work of the features that characterize a spectacle: serious and expressive, full of fantasy and deep emotions. One may get an impression that the artist smashes a lump of sounds with a hammer that gently disperse and slide down on the registers of the piano. Traditional techniques of modernism, such as clusters or melting passages intertwine with neoromanticism techniques: à la Lera Auerbach and Minimal Music."

        PIANONews, 2/2013
      • "The music of Polish composer Ludomir Różycki is not widely known. Nowadays, only the surnames of Szymanowski and Karłowicz are still recognised from the ”Young Poland” group that was creating new Polish music at the beginning of the last century. The works of Różycki, Fitelberg or even Szeluta are hardly noticeable. The offering on CD is generally poor and Różycki is far from a favourite – which makes, therefore, this album with the first performances of his violin works even more enjoyable. Born in Warsaw on 18 January 1883, Różycki graduated from the Warsaw conservatory of music under the supervision of Zygmunt Noskowski. He studied composition, taught by Engelbert Humperdinck in the Berlin Royal Academy of Music, later working in Lviv and Warsaw, and he died in Katowice on 1 January 1953. His works were derived from folk tradition and music. He was a sensitive, talented lyricist, a subtle painter of sounds, a demanding artist. The extent to which his symphonic works (Anhelli, 1909) were inspired by Strauss and French impressionism will probably never be discovered, nor how much of his writing talent he showed in creating his operas. Nevertheless, the ballet Pan Twardowski, recognised in Poland as a historical masterpiece, gives a suitable impression: four transcripts for the violin and piano, played by violinist Ewelina Nowicka, endow the listener with the charm of fantastic sounds of this story called a Polish Faust rooted in the Polish soul. Two melodies op. cit. 5 and two nocturnes op. cit. 30 for the violin and piano enchant with their melodious charm and delightful contrasts, reveal the mastery creation and richness of references. The insight presented to a lesser extent in precious forms from 1904, blossoms in a magnificent concerto op. cit. 70 - which is a proper introduction to the CD – written by Różycki in 1944 close to Cracow, where he found shelter after the Warsaw Uprising. This masterpiece, which is particularly expressive and combines lyric thoughts of andante and lively impetus of allegro deciso most effectively, was only composed for the piano. The orchestral part was arranged by Zygmunt Rychert, who standing behind his pulpit plays the role of a competent advocate of Różycki’s music. This way the conductor and fascinating soloist Ewelina Nowicka, with her delicate, warm touch and perfect technique, the magnificent Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice, and pianists Pola Lazar and Michał Krężlewski, propose an interpretation which is convincing and reveals deepest involvement. This performance makes the listener want to learn more about Różycki’s work." Eberhard Kneipel
        Das Orchester, 1/2013
      • "Ewelina Nowicka was born in 1982 in Gdańsk, was studying the violin and music pedagogy in the High School of Music and Theatre in Hamburg, and passed her final exam in the Fine Arts Academy in Bremen. Her regular career as a violinist (comprised of mastery courses, awards in competitions and numerous performances with Polish and German orchestras) has been consistently enriched by further education in composition. Michael Volpe, as well as Elisabeth Sikora, Helmut Zapf and Manfred Stahnke name her as one of their teachers. Awards in ”Jugend Komponiert” and ”Bremer Kompositionspreis“, as well as many Polish and German scholarships show recognition for her work. Her debut album is an important step in the career of this composing violinist who, apart from being a soloist, teaches the violin in music schools in Hamburg. The album combines violin and piano works with soloist pieces for both instruments. The artist’s development as a composer is clear and visible (the CD does not include the dates of her works, but the majority of them can be found on the composer’s website: www.ewelinanowicka.com), from the early violin concerto (1999), which emphasises and at the same time “tests” the repertoire of violin techniques, double-stops, changes in positions and passages, via various accelerations and dynamic increase in difficulty level, to more convincing soloist works Conventus (piano composition from 2009, published in 2012) and Strawinskana (issued in 2012). Both violinist Ewelina Nowicka, and guest pianists Pola Lazar, Milena Antoniewicz, Jennifer Hymer, Katharina Polivaeva and Michał Krężlewski, enchant with intensive and manifestly mature interpretations. Great differences in the efficiency of composition can be noticed among the accompaniments. Conventus presents a logically selected and convincing portrayal of the instruments, which complete and contrast the various registers of the piano. In the piano parts in Kaddish 1944 and Concerto Ebraico, however, many topics are insufficiently elaborated, they reveal a stylistic indecision, and the potential of the piano is not used enough – contrary to the violin. In the older works, the piano only plays the modest role of the junior partner. The clearly visible development stages between the seven works presented arouse interest about how this will continue. The works were issued by the publishing house, Neue Musik, Berlin. It would be both interesting and expected to test the composition through other interpretations that, when presented publicly and recorded, would allow us to learn the works of Ewelina Nowicka and arouse the interest of a wider group of listeners." Martin Morgenstern
        Das Orchester, 1/2013
      • Neue Musikzeitung, NMZ Nr. 9, 2012

        Neue Musikzeitung, NMZ Nr. 4, 2012

      • "As if Ewelina Nowicka is not already a superbly talented violinist she can also compose with equal merit. In 2011, she released her debut CD of seven of her own compositions for violin and piano. The first one is called Obsession for Violin & Piano. It is in three movements: I. Praefatio, II. Misterio, III. Finale. Ms. Nowicka plays the violin while Pola Lazar plays piano. Written in 1999, this was Nowicka's first composition for orchestra violin, xylophone and chamber orchestra. Later, during 2010, it was transcribed for violin and piano. the composer's interests and rythmic aspects are conveyed particularly well in this piece and became a seed for later compositional developments which have blossomed into quite a repertoire of beautiful music. The second is a violin solo called Atonall. This wonderful piece was inspired by Schumann's Kinderszenen [Scenes from Childhood]. As it evolves, it contains both old and new violin playing techniques, requiring great virtuosity from the soloist. The next two works are based upon Jewish motifs and themes. Both are illustrious examples of the influence of Jewish music on classical music. Kaddish 1944 for Violin and Piano is an evocative piece played by Ms. Nowicka and her piano partner Milena Antoniewcz who frequently play concerts together internationally. A letter from Nowicka's aunt served as the inspiration for this piece. The letter describes her aunt's life in the Łódź ghetto and goes on to describe her journey on a cattle train to Auschwitz. It was during this journey where she became separated from her mother on the ramp. The melody appears at the very beginning of the piece and can be likened to a fragile and delicate small plant. The melody then goes through many developments rather than flourish, but gets a chance to do so at the end. This is how the impressions, influences, and musical structure are linked together. Concerto Ebraico for Violin and Piano has three movements: I. Sabbat, II. Katharsis, III. Purim. The Sabbath, which on the Jewish calendar falls on Saturday, is the most Holy Day and supercedes all others including the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Purim is an ancient celebration when the Jews overcame extermination by the King of Persia with the help of Queen Esther. This time Ewelina is joined by the praiseworthy pianist Jennifer Hymer. Concerto Ebraico, Nowicka's second violin concerto, received an award in 2008 from the Bremen Composers Competition in Germany. Many musical elements come together in this piece. It contains an energetic, lively dialogue between the piano and violin, and reminds the listener of late Romantic and folk elements from the early 20th century. Furthermore, it combines technical savvy with emotional depth, thereby engaging the audience right from the beginning until the very end. Conventus for piano solo is played beautifully by pianist Katharina Polivaeva. One can imagine the similarity to creating a very beautiful sculpture. The listener could and should imagine flying through the air, as a musical space is created by carving out a low, middle, and high register on a piano. This imagery is achieved through techniques such as clusters and faint minimalistic characteristics. Natural and spatial elements are further emphasized by sustaining tones through the pedals. This emotional, expressive, powerful work is full of imagination. Saltatio mortis for violin and piano attracts the talents of yet another fine pianist, Michał Krezlewski. This composition was originally written for violin, harpsichord, and chamber orchestra. This recording features the violin and piano transcription. This danse macabre is distinctive because of its atonal elements and especially for its ostinato pattern. Strawinskana is a solo for violin quite obviously dedicated to the famous composer Igor Stravinsky. The composer quotes 20th century music and reveals how she was influenced by Stravinsky, a master of rhythm. There is a very clear reference to Stravinsky's violin concerto within the first two measures. Nowicka uses this as a point of departure in order to create her own ideas leading to an expressive, rhythmically-structured composition. Assessing a young composer or classifying them within a specific musical genre is no easy task. Eras such as the Baroque, Classical, or Romantic periods, although well-defined, belong to the past and not the present. Young composers are developing their own unique styles. They may express themselves in various ways within a single work and their pieces are often described as eclectic. Listening to this recording, one thing becomes crystal clear regarding Ewelina Nowicka and her musical pieces: we are dealing with both a virtuoso violinist as well as a virtuoso composer. Nowicka and her piano partners bring these pieces to life with passionate performances. Nowicka engages the listener by enchanting them and inviting them into her personal life - arousing their emotions evocatively. Her music is frequently inspired by her own family history, which has a rich heritage closely tied to Jewish culture, and also the characteristics of experimental contemporary music, which can be found in just about all her works. Ewelina Nowicka is a musician who clearly plays and composes from her heart. She is passionate about both composition and violin. Whether as a composer or on the violin with Ewelina Nowicka you are sure to win!" Gary Fitelberg
        Los Angeles: Polish Music Center, University of Southern California, February 2012, Vol. 18, No. 2. ISSN 1098-9188
      • Acte Prealable, the leading label promoting Polish music and musicians, brings us a World Premiere recording of Polish composer Ludomir Różycki's Violin Concerto, Op. 70 (1944) as well as his works for violin and piano. Ludomir Różycki was one of the elite and famous composers of Mloda Polska ("Young Poland") consisting of Grzegorz Fitelberg (who founded the group under the sponsorship of Prince Władisław Lubomirski), Apolinary Szeluto, Karol Szymanowski and Mieczysław Karłowicz, who later affiliated himself with the group. At the end of WWII in Osieczany near Kraków, where Różycki had taken refuge after the Germans crushed the Warsaw Uprising, he penned his Violin Concerto—a fiery two-movement work, saturated with pure passion, whose first movement Andante was both reflective and lyrical; while the second Allegro deciso movement, vibrant and energetic, was highly virtuostic in character. Unfortunately, the composer left the orchestral part of this piece only in the form of a piano reduction. It was only in the 21st century that the director of the Polish Baltic Philharmonic, Zygmunt Rychert, took interest in Różycki's work, and based on the composer's cues contained in the piano reduction, edited the score of the Concerto by adding more character and depth that were reminiscent of Różycki's earlier orchestral works. An accomplished and excellent violinist, Ewelina Nowicka, has superbly mastered the Concerto's solo part which is expressed through her passionate and eloquent interpretation. The CD is a harmonious reflection of the cooperation between both musicians. Ludomir Różycki was born on September 18, 1883 in Warsaw and died January 1, 1953 in Katowice in Poland. He was a son of a professor at the Warsaw Conservatory, where he studied piano and composition. He completed his studies with distinction, and then continued his studies in Berlin at the Academy of Music under Englebert Humperdinck. He began his musical career as a conductor of opera and professor of piano in Lwów in 1907. It was while in Lwów that he began to compose. Subsequently he moved to Warsaw where he composed many more works in a number of different genres. As a favorite student of Zygmunt Noskowski, together with his colleagues in Mloda Polska, he had high expectations in Polish musical circles. Różycki became the most celebrated Polish composer after Monuiszko, and who was actually the creator of the Polish National Ballet. His ballet Pan Twardowski was the first Polish large-scale ballet to be performed abroad, being seen in Copenhagen, Prague, Brno, Zagreb, Belgrade and Vienna, and being performed over 800 times in Warsaw. His eight operas included Casanova and Eros i Psyche, the latter having its world premiere in Wroclaw in 1917. Mloda Polska paved the way for the development of Polish music. It is indeed extremely difficult to comprehend why this group of illustrious composers has only recently begun to attract attention from the mainstream musical circles; especially in the concert halls and stages of Poland. Ewelina Nowicka, a composer and violinist, exhibits her unique talents by bringing this piece to the forefront of violin concertos. No one can do justice to the Różycki Violin Concerto as can an excellent master of violin such as Ewelina Nowicka, along with her accompanists on the works for violin and piano —Polish pianists Pola Lazar and Michał Krężlewski—who lend their special talents and touch. Ewelina Nowicka and Pola Lazar regularly collaborate together as the Nowicka-Lazar Duo, and they have proven once again on this disc that they are perfectly in synch. Gary Fitelberg
        Los Angeles: Polish Music Center, University of Southern California , January 2012, Vol. 18, No. 1. ISSN 1098-9188
      • "(...) Although the renaissance of Mieczysław Weinberg’s works in Poland was begun by Gabriel Chmura with the Polish Radio National Symphonic Orchestra, recording in Katowice for Chandos company three CDs with a range of symphonies of this Polish-Russian-Jewish artist, the Festival in Mikołów near Katowice hosted Mr Weinberg the first time. This information is also not really accurate, as the evening during which Ewelina Nowicka presented Concertino opus 42 and Moldavian Rhapsody opus 47 for violin and strings, accompanied by the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra conducted by Agnieszka Duczmal was the only guest concert of the XXI Days of Music in Mikołów (May 21st – June 11th) which took place in the concert hall of the Academy of Music in Katowice. Most probably it was the first performance of Concertino in Poland, and as concerns Moldavian Rhapsody, the situation is even more extraordinary. In 2004 the Polish Radio National Symphonic Orchestra recorded it for Chandos, in May the European Festival Orchestra performed it in Toruń during the ”Probaltica” Festival. Weinberg, however, has written two more versions of the masterpiece: for violin and piano and for violin and chamber orchestra. The second version was performed for the first time on 6 February 1953 in the great hall of the Moscow Conservatory. The composer was remembering that day until the end of his life. After the triumphal welcome of the concert he was arrested at night on an absurd charge of attempting to establish a Jewish republic in the Crimea. That version officially has disappeared. But Ewelina Nowicka managed to find in Hamburg the solo part notes, with fingering authored by its first performer David Oistrakh. She added voices for a string group and therefore this year the Festival in Mikołów hosted two first performances of Weinberg’s works. It cannot be excluded that restoring to life those masterpieces, simply naturally created for chamber string groups, tired of serenades of Tchaikovsky, Dvorak and Karłowicz, was the most important event of the Festival. The masterpieces are extremely pleasant to listen to: Concertino is a buoyant work, but not devoid of Russian longing, slightly resembling the style of Khachaturian in his Mascarade. On the other hand, Moldavian Rhapsody with its Southern Balkan climate enchants like Romanian Rhapsody by Enescu – one has to remember that both works stem from twin ethnic groups. The first performances were played by genuine virtuosos of music. Particularly Ewelina Nowicka has deserved special applause – her CD with Concerto by Ludomir Różycki, also unknown until that time, has just appeared on the market (in 2002 she was performing it in Mikołów(...)" Marek Brzeźniak
        Ruch Muzyczny, Nr 15, 2011
      • "(...)Różycki created also a two-part Violin Concert, yet did not arrange the instruments for the orchestra part (merely the piano extract was provided). For this reason, for many years this piece of music was not player. The attempts to orchestrate it had not been successful until Zygmunt Rychert found the way to do it basing on the original composer’s instructions that he had come across, making the concert a competent and colourful version that is in line with Różycki’s feeling of music. A Germany based young violin player born in Gdańsk, Ewelina Nowicka undertook to play the demanding soloist part. The form of the music piece should actually be described as Introduction and Concertino (the second Allegro part dotted with impressive double notes is much elaborate than the first, lyric one). Nowicka plays it with intense expression and virtuoso brilliance passing the technical difficulties of the vibrant second part with ease. She is lovely accompanied by the Symphonic Orchestra of the Polish Radio conducted by Zygmunt Rychert. The record is made complete by two melodies op. 5 written by Różycki when still a student, two later romantic nocturnes op. 30 created in Lviv (1909) for violin and piano and nicely arranged by the lady herself violin transcriptions of four fragments from Pan Twardowski ballet.(...)" Józef Kański
        Ruch Muzyczny ROK LIV • NR 20 • 2th October 2011 •
      • TVP Bydgoszcz, 04.05.2011

        Gazeta Pomorska, 05.05.2011

        Ruch Muzyczny, Nr 15, 2011

        Muzyka 21, 02.07.2011

        Dziennik Łódzki 26.02.2011

        Viva Voce, Sommer 2010

        Nowości Toruńskie, 2009

      • "(...)Ewelina Nowicka, 24-year-old-violinist and the winner of the Heskie Radio Prize in Frankfurt On the Ren and the President of Poland Prize, presented herself in our Town Hall. The disposition, the energy was showed especially in her composition "Sonata variabilis"(...)" N. Hollatz
        Wismarer Zeitung, 2008
      • "(...)The absolute culminating point was, delightfully played, violin concerto D-Dur by Luigi Boccherini. Ewelina Nowicka has worked the concert out and played passionately, wild with enthusiasm, masterfully and by heart.(...)" Reinhard Frank
        Landeszeitung, 2005
      • "(...)We had a chance to listen to an original and beautiful concert performed by outstanding musicians. Ewelina Nowicka plays with ease typical for maestro.(..)" Nowy Kurier Nadbaltycki Nr 7, 2002
      • "(...)The recent event of “Mikołowskie Dni Muzyki” was the final concert where Sinfonia Varsovia was led by our top conductor – Zygmunt Rychert and as a soloist performed a volinist having all the makings of a genius – Ewelina Nowcika, who played the recently discovered concerto for violin by Ludomir Różycki.(...)" Niedziela, Tygodnik Katolicki, 2002
      • "(...)It was a great challenge for Ewelina Nowicka. Lack of a point of reference in the form of different performance, both - facilitate and hinder the task. As a result, the young soloist can speak of success as she not only performed the piece as the first, but also showed off huge technical skills, musicality and her own look at music interpreted by herself.(...)" Piotr Pozakowski
        „Prawykonanie po półwieczu”
        Ruch Muzyczny, 2001
      • "(...)In my opinion, one of the reason why the concert by Różycki appeared on a stage only after 50 years was the violin part presentation. It generates great difficulties for a soloist; uncharacteristic fingering, constant wandering across keys, the finale requiring the highest technical efficiency and proficiency. Ewelina Nowicka managed in the ocean of difficulties well, she showed off not only virtuoso predisposition but, above all, wonderful sound and great musicality.(...)" Jarosław Balcewicz
        Rzeczypospolita, 2001
      • "(...)The Gdynia course had its own leaders, and it had also its star, who was undoubtedly a a resident of Gdańsk - 16-year-old Ewelina Nowcika, a great violinist with some international successes on her scorecard. Ewelina does some compositions, creating interesting attempts under Prof. Krzysztof Olczak direction; she presented them in some concert in Gdańsk and Gdynia. The young violinist was also distinctively visible during lectures, playing the professors works "Solo" by Sikora and "Capriccio" by Głowski. It can be said that we are dealing not only with a talent of considerable violin stature, but also with composer’s talent. It would be good if Ewelina composed especially violin pieces, which she plays very well. Maybe in few year we will have a composer the same class as Grażyna Bacewicz.(...)" A. Kowalczyk
        „Szukamy młodych kompozytorów”
        Wiadomości Gdyńskie,1999 nr I