...with performances as sonorous and acutely paced as these, they come across with a winning fervour. Layton's advocacy is certainly vindicated.
Matthew Rye, Daily Telegraph (London), 9/13/2008
Lukaszewski has worked extensively in Chile as well as in his native Poland, and was nominated as Man of the Year by the American Biographical Institute in 2000, but one of his greatest champions, to whom the Nunc Dimittis is dedicated, is Stephen Layton, here in Britain. Layton’s affinity with this radiant, accessible music is clear as he guides the Trinity College Choir, which sings with passion and purity throughout this programme.
Lukaszewski employs what he describes as ‘renewed tonality’ and he has been compared with ‘Holy Minimalists’ like Pärt, Górecki and Tavener, but in truth the similarities are slight. Indeed, here and there in the Antiphons, notably O Sapientia and O Radix Jesse, it is the American Minimalists who are evoked, but even those echoes are faint.
Lukaszewski’s language is personal and individual, and is perhaps most directly illustrated by Ave Maria (1992) where simple, conventional harmonies are used in unexpected ways.
Barry Witherden, BBC Music Magazine, 9/1/2008
Pawel Lukaszewski (b.1968) is one of the most striking of the younger generation of composers, particularly of choral music, and has made quite a name for himself. His father, Wojciech, was a composer, as is his brother Marcin, and he has distinguished himself too as a conductor, working principally with the Warsaw choir Musica Sacra. It is no surprise, then, that Lukaszewski is a tremendous technician. He knows exactly how to write for a choir in order to achieve a particular effect, and those effects are very exciting – the rapid, repeating patterns that create shimmering, rippling effects in ‘Beatus vir, Sanctus Antonius’ and ‘Beatus vir, Sanctus Martinus’ are excellent examples.
Ivan Moody, International Record Review, 9/1/2008
A Polish composer born in 1968, Pawel Lukaszewski writes lush, melodic scores for Catholic services, producing fresh, often exciting sounds for an ancient rite. He, like many recent Eastern Europeans, applies himself to what he calls "renewed tonality." But Lukaszewski's harmonies are more varied and his rhythms far more energized those of, say, Estonian minimalist Arvo PÃ¤rt. Lukaszewski's works are pleasingly melodic and emotional without being cloying or predictable, and he creates dynamic momentum through leaping climaxes and a rich vocal weave.
The core of this a cappella disc is seven Advent Antiphons. "O Radix Jesse" is a highlight of the 35-minute Antiphon set, with a soprano rising high in an Eastern-tinged line before dramatically pulsing whispers fill the air. Stephen Layton yields sympathetic performances from his British singers; their balance of suppleness and weight is ideal for Lukaszewski's music, which lights up the enduring Polish sacred idiom like a new candle. www.nj.com
Bradley Bambarger, The Star-Ledger, 12/1/2008