Polish Music Center Newsletter Vol. 12, no. 10

PMC News

Paderewski Lecture: Stojowski Anniversary

I.J. Paderewski and Z. Stojowski on Paderewski’s estate in Paso Robles, CA. July 31, 1927. Photo: Private collection, Used by permission.

During the month of October we will honor a very unique Polish musician and an extraordinary patriot, Zygmunt Stojowski. The occasion is the 60 th anniversary of his death, falling on November 5 th, 2006. Members of the Stojowski family, including his sons, Henry and Alfred, are expected to attend several events on the campus of USC, celebrating the legacy of their distinguished father. These will include concert performances of Stojowski’s music and a dedication of the Stojowski Room at the Polish Music Center. Our festivities culminate on Thursday, October 12 th, at 7:30 pm at the Newman Recital Hall with the 2006 Paderewski Lecture-Recital. The gala evening will present the British-born virtuoso, Jonathan Plowright, in an evening of piano music by Stojowski and Paderewski. Joseph Herter, Stojowski’s biographer, will deliver a lecture entitled “Zygmunt Stojowski—Composer, Pianist, and Pedagogue.” Last year, the Polish Music Center was a recipient of a generous donation of music manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, recordings, books, scores and other memorabilia from the Stojowski family. Known as the Zygmunt and Luisa Stojowski Collection, this invaluable treasure trove of materials will greatly enrich the unique holdings of rare manuscripts and other memorabilia related to Polish music that are held at the Special Collections Library on the USC campus.

Already the research of the Stojowski Collection has enabled Mr. Herter to write the first comprehensive biography of Zygmunt Stojowski. The book, entitled “Zygmunt Stojowski: Life and Music” will be published by Figueroa Press later this year. This undeservedly forgotten virtuoso pianist and composer was born in Poland in 1870 and studied at the Conservatoire Nationale in Paris. By 1891 Stojowski became a student of Paderewski, and later one of his closest and most trusted friends, often vacationing in Paderewski’s villa in Switzerland or joining the great master during his frequent visits to Paso Robles, California. Stojowski moved to America in 1905 and settled in New York City. He continued to perform throughout North and South America and Europe, attracting highly favorable comments from the world press. Stojowski’s symphonic music was programmed by the most prestigious orchestras, including the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic. In England, Stojowski’s compositions were performed for Queen Victoria, and the venerable conductor, Sir Charles Halle, was one of many enthusiastic supporters. Stojowski’s fascinating encounters with the greatest musicians of his time included friendships with Johannes Brahms, Edward Elgar, Leopold Stokowski, and Pyotr Tchaikovski, who autographed (in impeccable Polish!) a photograph for Stojowski’s mother. Stojowski’s numerous concerts in the United States often featured collaborations with such great Polish artists as Marcella Sembrich, Józef Hofmann, Karol Szymanowski, and Paweł Kochański.

Zygmunt Stojowski was also a widely-respected pedagogue, who produced a crop of remarkable students. The film composer, Alfred Newman, one of the first women-conductors, Antonia Brico, and several great piano virtuosi, including Shura Cherkassky, Oscar Levant and Guiomar Novaes, were Stojowski’s students. Stojowski taught mainly in New York City at the school that eventually became the famous Julliard School of Music. For many years he also traveled extensively coast to coast, lecturing on Polish music for universities, music clubs, and various Polish organizations.

In addition to his musical achievements, we should also remember Stojowski’s tireless activities on behalf of his beloved homeland. As the most famous Polish musician residing in America during World War I, Stojowski lent his considerable prestige and influence to organize fund-raising concerts and special events to aid the cause of Poland. Teaming up with Paderewski and the great Metropolitan Opera star, Marcella Sembrich, Stojowski collected substantial amounts of money for the war-torn Poland, advocating for the cause of Polish independence at the highest levels of American society. Towards the end of his life, already suffering from cancer, Stojowski once again activated his political and social connections in America, trying to help Poland during the dark days of World War II. In numerous articles, public speeches, and telegrams—including a cable to President Roosevelt—Stojowski clearly articulated the dangers of appeasing the Soviets in Tehran and Yalta, and lamented the fate of Poland, observing with chilling accuracy that Poland’s valiant struggle against the German and Russian oppressors would only lead to a defeat in a cynical political arrangement among the Allies after the end of the war.

The Polish Music Center is proud to honor the memory of such a remarkable person. We hope that all of the interested public will be able to join us! Please call us at 213-821-1356 or email us at polmusic@usc.edu with any questions.

Paderewski Lecture-Recital, dedicated to Zygmunt Stojowski 
October 12, 2006 | 7:30 pm 
Alfred Newman Recital Hall, USC
Admission is free
Reception following the program held in the Herklotz courtyard

The closest parking to Newman Recital Hall is in Parking Structure X (Figueroa St.& McCarthy Way) or Parking Structure D (Jefferson Blvd & Shrine Auditorium). See the USC University Park Campus Map ( www.usc.edu/about/visit/upc/driving_directions) for directions to the Parking structures and from the structures to Newman Recital Hall. Please be aware that there will be another major function at USC that evening and you may want to arrive early for preferred parking.

A Helpful Hand For Polish Music

Polish Music Center has been designated as the recipient of contributions in memory of Dr. Paul Rudnicki . His parents, Marek and Danuta, wanted to honor their son’s great interest in music by supporting performances of Polish repertoire on the USC campus and beyond. Dr. Paul Rudnicki studied piano for 11 years and was a gifted amateur pianist who loved playing the piano in his spare time. Thanks to the contributions that we have already received, the Polish Music Center has established the Rudnicki Memorial Fund that will assist performers interested in programming Polish music on local concert stages.

Should anyone else be interested in contributing to the Fund or recognize Dr. Rudncki’s memory, please send your contributions to:

Polish Music Center
USC Thornton School of Music
840 West 34 th Street
Los Angeles , CA 90089-0851

Please make your checks payable to the Polish Music Center and indicate on the check: “Rudnicki Memorial Fund.” Thank you!


Concert Of Six Premieres

The Polish Composer’s Union [ZKP] is finishing the 60th anniversary celebrations with a special concert consisting of 6 brand new compositions commissioned by the Union. The concert will take place on the 15th of October in the Polish Radio Lutosławski Concert Studio. Composers whose works are to be premiered are Jarosław Siwiński, Roman Berger, Wojciech Ziemowit Zych, Magdalena Długosz, Zbigniew Bargielski and Dobromiła Jaskot (pictured above in order). The artists performing include the Sinfonia Varsovia orchestra with Aleksander   Lasoń and Szymon Bywalec conducting and Jan Pilch on percussion.

Widłak World Premiere

The latest composition by Wojciech Widłak, PostScriptum for orchestra, will have its world premiere at the Aksamitna Kurtyna II Festival on October 10th. The work was commissioned by the Friends of the Warsaw Autumn Foundation.

The Aksamitna Kurtyna festival starts on October 8, 2006 in Lwów . For the one week this celebration will put the spotlight on music by composers from Eastern Europe countries, including Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary. The festival is a wonderful opportunity to present Polish music. Other composers presented this year include: Witold Lutosławski, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Aleksander Lasoń, Andrzej Krzanowski, Krzysztof Knittel and Agata Zubel.

Wieniawski Violin Competition

The 13th International Wieniawski Violin Competition competition will take place in Poznań between October 15 and 29, 2006. The competition is organized every 5 years by the Wieniawski Society and co-organized by one of the Poland’s greatest violinists, Konstanty Andrzej Kulka. Kulka, along with Wanda Wiłkomirska and Bartłomiej Nizioł (two generations of the laureates of the competition) and 8 violin authorities from around the world, will be the jury of this year’s edition. 49 young artists have qualified for the competition. The most from Poland (19), followed by Russia (7), South Korea (4), France (2), Germany (2), Japan (2) and one each from: Canada, USA, Great Britain, Czech Republic, Austria, Sweden, Bulgaria, Belgium, China, Taiwan and Israel. Two violinists will represent two countries: France/Armenia and Albania/Greece.

The inaugural concert will take place on the 14th of October, featuring Alena Baeva (last edition’s winner) with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields orchestra conducted by Sir Neville Marriner. The program consists of: Concerto for string orchestra by Grażyna Bacewicz, Spanish Symphony, Op. 21 by Eduard Lalo and Dvorak’s 8th Symphony.

For complete information about the competition, artists and schedule please visit the official website.

Stańko Quartet 4th American Tour

A living icon of Polish–and European–jazz, Tomasz Stańko’s reputation has been secure for decades. However, there is universal agreement that he is now playing at the peak of his powers. Since his first recording for ECM in the 1970s, Stańko has been hailed as both a composer and performer whose work displays a simplicity of form and mellowness that comes from years of work, exploration, and experience.

Pianist Marcin Wasilewski, and bassist Sławomir Kurkiewicz were 18 and drummer Michał Miśkiewicz only 16 when Stańko took them under his wing in 1994. Pianist, bassist and drummer have also built up a reputation as a unit in their own right, working under the name Simple Acoustic Trio, which has meanwhile become one of Poland’s most popular bands and won great acclaim with a their CD from ECM called Trio.

In October 2006, the Tomasz Stańko Quartet is launching its fourth U.S. tour with five nights at the Jazz Bakery in L.A., then hitting flagship jazz clubs across the country to cap it all with another four-day residency at New York’s Birdland – a rare gig for a European band. The young musicians continue to demonstrate a magical rapport with their elder mentor, a vibe that is something to behold and hear. In this 12-city/20-date/coast-to-coast North American tour, the quartet will be supporting the release of their new CD, Lontano, the group’s third album for ECM. For more information about the tour and dates, visit www.polishculture-nyc.org or www.tomaszstanko.com .

Lutosławski Composition Competition

Photo by Betty Freeman, Los Angeles, 1993.

The Witold Lutosławski Society was founded in 2000 in Poland with purpose of protecting and promoting the artistic and spiritual heritage of Witold Lutosławski and to promote performance of his works. In this spirit, the Society announces its LUTOSŁAWSKI AWARD—International Composers Competition for 2006.

The competition is open to composers of all nationalities and ages. The following types of unpublished and un-premiered compositions will be considered: string quartet, works for violin and piano, cello and piano, oboe and piano, clarinet and piano, voice and piano (in any language, but must include an English translation) and piano duet. The use of tape and live electronics will not be permitted and the length of the work must be between 15 and 30 minutes. The deadline for submission of scores is 15 November 2006. For more information and entry details, visit www.lutoslawski.org.pl.

Year-End Jazz In Poland

This rest of this year looks very promising for jazz fans in Poland. First, on the 10th of October in Warsaw ‘s Congress Hall, British guitarist Peter White will perform during the “Smooth Jazz Gala”. Peter White is one of the world’s foremost smooth jazz guitarists, often called the “Pat Metheny of the smooth jazz”. He has also performed as a sideman for such artists as: Matti Bianco, Craig Chaquico, Richard Elliot, David Koz, Boney James, Groove Washington, Rick Brown, Kirk Whalum, Gato Barbieri, Chriss Botti, and Polish vocalist, Basia Trzetrzelewska.

On the 8th of November, Warsaw audiences will hear the Abdullah Ibrahim trio, also in Congress Hall. Ibrahim is one of the jazz piano greats, known for his unique style, combining African idioms with the jazz forms. His performances are very much in demand all around the world and he has headlined many of the world’s greatest jazz festivals.

On the 5th of December, the Congress Hall in Warsaw will house the “Christmas Jazz Gala”. This year, Dee Dee Bridgewater will be the star of the concert. Her performance will be based mostly on the repertoire from her latest CD titled “J’ai Deux Amours” and containing French popular music in jazz arrangements. Dee Dee Bridgewater is one of the greatest female jazz singers in the world. She has been nominated for and awarded the world’s most important music awards many times over, including Grammy Awards and Jazz Academy Awards.

Last but not least, between December 4 and 7 in Warsaw, Poznań, Kraków, Gdańsk, and Wrocław, audiences will hear one of the best jazz duets in the world, “Friend ‘n’ Fellow.” The duet of jazz vocalist Constance Friend and guitarist Thomas Fellow is among the most popular groups in the genre. They have performed with stars like Al Jarreau, Marianne Faithful, Simply Red, Maceo Parker and Ray Charles.

New Directors For National Opera

Janusz Pietkiewicz, recently appointed the new general director of the Grand Theater-National Opera, is considering the candidates for the artistic and musical directors of the National Opera. The nominations should be known by the end of September, but two names have come up more often. Ryszard Karczykowski, a candidate for the artistic director and Kazimierz Kord, as a musical director. The candidates have not confirmed anything yet, but negotiations with Janusz Pietkiewicz are scheduled for the coming days.

Ryszard Karczykowski, until recently served as the artistic director of Kraków Opera. He resigned after the referendum among the employees did not evaluate his work very well. Kazimierz Kord served as director and conductor of the National Opera last year and also resigned after the voting commenced by the employees.

BBC Highlights Warsaw

In a beautiful 2-page spread in this month’s BBC Music Magazine, staff writer and reviews editor Daniel Jaffé gushes about the beauty and cultural splendor of Warsaw, a city which “has managed to retain and respect her heritage while bringing to it a fresh sense of purpose.”   The ostensible impetus for Jaffé’s trip was to learn more about Poland’s Royal Quartet, the young string quartet featured in the Magazine ‘s monthly CD produced only for its readers, but in writing this article he got caught up with the city instead. There is much praise for the rebuilt Old Town, whose Royal Castle is the patriotic namesake of the Royal Quartet. Also, Jaffé was obviously impressed with the city’s musical venues, ranging from the monstrous Stalinist-era Palace of Culture and Science, which has hosted some of jazz’s greatest performers, to the renovated factory now called the Fabryka Trzciny Artistic Centre, which hosts the Royal Quartet’s chamber festival and, according to Jaffé, “positively exudes cool relaxation.”

50 Years Of Opera In Bydgoszcz

On October 21st, Opera Nova in Bydgoszcz will present Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s opera, Manru. The staging of the work is of special importance for two reasons. First it celebrates 50 years of the opera company in Bydgoszcz and the completion of the new Opera hall, which is one of the more modern stages in Poland. Second, Paderewski’s opera was missing from Polish stages for 15 years until now and it just so happens that year 2006 marks the 65th anniversary of composer’s death and 105th anniversary of the composition of Manru.

You can find out more about Opera Nova and the show at www.operanova.bydgoszcz.pl .

XV International Percussion Festival

The festival celebrating the art of percussion will take place between October 1 and 16, in Opole, Wrocław, Katowice, Piekary Śląskie and Gliwice. The world class drummers and percussionists invited this year include drummers Cindy Blackman, Bill Bruford with Earthworks, Omar Hakim, Hakim Ludin, Billy Cobham, and Virgil Donati with his band and Alan White. On the mallet/percussion front there will be Nancy Zeltsman, John Beck and Dave Samuels.

During the festival there will be masterclasses, workshops and two competitions: Vibraphone and Drumset. For more information regarding the schedule and events please visit the official website of the festival .

Grzech Piotrowski Injured

Polish saxophone player, Grzech Piotrowski (pictured at left), broke his wrist as a result of accident. Doctors are concerned that the three-way injury could potentially affect his further career as a saxophonist. Piotrowski is a graduate of Katowice Music Academy and creator and member of such Polish groups as Alchemik, Oxen, Freedom Nation, Head Up and project Dekonstrukcja Jazzu. He has performed with Mietek Szcześniak, de Mono, Kasia Kowalska, Kasia Stankiewicz, Ryszard Rynkowski, TGD, and Roxette. He has cooperated with Wiesław Pieregrólka and the Golec brothers (Alchemik, studio sessions). He also worked on TV productions by Elżbieta Skrętowska and for TVN station’s shows.

New Board Members For PWM

On September 19, Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne [Polish Music Editions] started a search for a new Chairman of the Board/Chief Director and Member of the Board/Trade Director. Highly qualified candidates should send the CV, motivation letter and documents proving qualification level within 16 days from the announcement to PWM S.A., Al. Krasińskiego 11a, Kraków. For details please visit this website.

Poland In Iceland

The first Polish Festival in Iceland took place in Reykjavik between September 28 and October 1, 2006. The idea of the festival came from two young Poles: Anna Wojtyńska and Marta Macuga. After two years of searching for sufficient support, the idea finally came to fruition with the help of the Polish and Icelandic Ministries of Culture and Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also involved in the organization of the event was the Polish-Icelandic Friendship Society.

The festival was inaugurated on September 28 th with a concert played by the Iceland Symphonic Orchestra, conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki. An exhibition of the works by Polish painter living in Iceland, Ireneusz Jankouski, was also organized. The goal of the festival is to present examples of the wealth and beauty of Polish art and heritage to the people of Iceland. Currently there are approximately 3,600 Poles living in and close to 10,000 Poles working in Iceland.

National Opera Season

The ballet triptych Szymanowski and dance, conducted by Kazimierz Kord, will open the 2006/2007 season of the National Opera. During the show, the music of Szymanowski will be performed with choreography created by the best Polish artists. In the program: Symphony no. 3 “Song of the night ,” choreographed by Jacek Przybyłowicz, StabatMater with choreography by Ewa Wycichowska and Harnasie choreographed by Emil Wesołowski .

The new opera to be performed this season is Krauze’s Iwona , księżniczka Burgunda [Yvonne, Princess of Burgundy]. Other operas in the schedule are: Madame ButterflyLa BohèmeDon Giovanni, Magic Flute and WozzeckNabuccoLa Traviata and Rigolettowill also return to the program. The ballets scheduled for the season are: Córka źle strzeżonaThe Nutcracker and Greek Zorba.

There are many great artists scheduled to appear with the National Opera this season including: Małgorzata Walewska, Stefania Toczyńska, Mariusz Kwiecień, Ewa Podleś and Nigel Kennedy (during the special New Year’s Eve extravaganza). Also performing will be Jurij Smiekałow, the main soloist of the St. Petersburg ‘s Grand Theater Ballet.

For information about Grand Theater-National Opera in Warsaw please visit their official website.


Contemporary Chamber Music Winners

The 10th edition of the International Competition of Contemporary Chamber Music took place in Kraków between August 31 and September 3, 2006. 58 soloists and ensembles from 14 countries ( Poland, Austria, South Korea, Croatia, Belarus, Ukraine, Germany, UK, Italy, Russia, Japan, Serbia and France ) were qualified to enter the 10th edition of the Competition. During three days of auditions, the participants were evaluated by an international Jury consisting of the following distinguished musicians and composers: Marta Ptaszyńska (Polish percussionist, composer and a professor at the University of Chicago), Geoffrey Douglas Madge (Australian pianist-the Chairman of the Jury), Sylvain Cambreling (French conductor at the National Opera in Paris), Krzesimir Dębski (Polish composer and jazz violinist), Gudni Franzson (Icelandic clarinetist), and Jan Pilch (Polish percussionist and a professor at the Academy of Music in Kraków ).

his year, for the first time, the Bravissimo Award was presented by the Polish Institute in Stockholm for the most promising Polish artist. It was given to Stanisław Bromboszcz (piano) of Poland. The Jury, together with the organizer of the Competition, the Institute of Art, also decided that starting with 2006, the Special Award for the best performance of a Polish composition would be named after Marek Stachowski. This award was presented to Lutosławski Piano Duo from Poland, consisting of Emilia Sitarz and Bartłomiej Wąsik.

The Grand Prix of the 10th International Competition of Contemporary Chamber Music was awarded to Capriccioso Ensemble from France: Julien Herve (clarinet), Julien Desplanque (horn), Sebastien Richaud (violin), Cynthia Perrin (viola), Clementine Meyer (cello), and Jean Sugitani (piano). The Special Award for the best performance of a work written by a Dutch composer was given to Black Out  from Russia: Ivan Bushuev (recorder) and Natalia Cherkasova (piano). The first prize in the soloist category went to Eun Hye Kim (marimba) from Republic of Korea. The first prize in the duo category went to the Lutosławski Piano Duo. The first prize in the trio, quartet, quintet and sextet category went to Capriccioso Ensemble . For more details, please visit the official website.

Pearl For Kilar

Wojciech Kilar has been honored with the “Pearl” award in the field of culture for outstanding achievements and promotion of Polish culture in the world. The award is given by the Polish Market magazine and will be awarded during a ceremony at the Royal Castle in Warsaw on September 29th.

Polish Choir Awarded In China

Gdańsk University Choir won two silver medals on the IV International Choir Olympiad in Xiamen, China. The choir medaled in Mixed Choirs and Musica Sacra categories. These two medals account for the 6th and 7th award won by the choir at the Olimpiad in its 35 year history.

The Choir Olympiad is the most important event in the world of choir music. It takes place every two years in different parts of the world: so far the hosts include Linz, Austria; Busan, Korea; Brema, Germany; and Xiamen, China. During the competition days there is over a hundred choral ensembles competing in 26 categories.

Polański’s Lifetime Achievement

In recognition of his outstanding dedication to cinema, Polish filmmaker Roman Polański will receive the European Film Academy Lifetime Achievement Award at the European Film Awards on December 2 in Warsaw.

As an actor, writer, director and producer, Roman Polański has created some of the most unforgettable moments in cinema. He has embodied characters like the clumsy assistant of Professor Abronsius in The Dance of the Vampires from 1967 and quiet Trelkovsky in The Tenant from 1976, both of which he also directed. And who could forget the silent horror creeping through the cinema during his 1968 drama Rosemary’s Baby or the despair of Harrison Ford as Dr. Richard Walker in Frantic from 1988? Or his bloody adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth from 1971? He has worked with an illustrious group of actors including Jack Nicholson in Chinatown from 1974, Nastassja Kinski in Tess, Polański’s 1979 adaptation of the novel by Thomas Hardy, Ben Kingsley in his 1994 drama Death and the Maiden and Johnny Depp in the mystery thriller The Ninth Gate from 1999. Amongst his latest successes are The Pianist based on the book by Władysław Szpilman from 2002 and his 2005 adaptation of the classic Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.

Roman Polański will be among the guests at the European Film Awards Ceremony on December 2 in Warsaw, during which a total of 15 awards will be presented.


More Kilar On NAXOS

KILAR: Bogurodzica / Piano Concerto / Hoary Fog / Koscielec 1909
Waldemar Malicki, piano; Wiesław Ochman, baritone; National Philharmonic Choir; National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra; Henryk Wojnarowski, chorus master; Antoni Wit, conductor
NAXOS 8.557813

This is the second album with Kilar’s music released by NAXOS in “21st Century Classis” series. It contains music from the late 1970’s. The album was recorded at the National Philharmonic concert hall in October and Novermber of 2002. The edition includes a booklet with a short commentary in English and German. Additionally, the texts to the recorded pieces are located at: www.naxos.com/libretti/kilar.htm. This album appeared in BBC Music Magazine ‘s September 2006 issue, receiving a lukewarm but encouraging review from critic John Allison.

Polish Romantic Songs

Władysław Żeleński songs
Jadwiga Rappé, alto; Mariusz Rutkowski, piano
Władysław Żeleński: Na Anioł Pański, Zaczarowana królewna, Zawód, Z nocy letnich, Marzenia dziewczyny, Czy aniołek, czy diabełek, Siedzi ptaszek na drzewie, Co mi tam, O Jaśku spod Sącza, Pieśń Jaruhy, Młoda zaswatana, Tęsknota, Nie wróci, Tęsknota za zimą, Życzenie, Ja tobie serce ślę, Te rozkwitłe ciche drzewa, Przy rozstaniu, Czy pamiętasz
PRCD 070

It is not very often that Żeleński’s songs are recorded, and it is even rarer to have a whole CD dedicated to his songs. This is very odd phenomenon, considering that his songs represent a major part of Polish romantic song.

Arte Dei Suonatori Strikes Again

The 4 Seasons
Dan Laurin, recorder; Arte Dei Suonatori
Antonio Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, Concerto for strings, RV 124, Flute Concerto No.6 in G RV437, Recorder Concerto in C minor RV441

The Polish Arte Dei Suonatori Orchestra has prepared another gem. This time it is a recording of Vivaldi’s music and of particular interest, The Four Seasons performed on the recorder. This is a Super Audio CD, so we can expect exceptional sound clarity and definition from this great ensemble. Scheduled release date is October 2, 2006.

Stańko Quartet Release

Tomasz Stańko Quartet
ECM CD B0007152-02

The third album by Tomasz Stańko’s popular all-Polish jazz quartet was released on ECM Records on August 29th, ringing in some new developments for the group. Whereas its predecessors, 2001’s Soul of Things and 2004’s Suspended Night, were recorded in Oslo, Lontanoshifts the recording locale to the South of France, in Studios La Buisonne, near Avignon. It opens up the group’s concept to allow both freer playing and a new look at pieces of historical importance in Stanko’s development, while still emphasizing the achingly soulful balladry that has increasingly become a hallmark of Stańko’s music.

There have been very few musicians who have maintained their own voice throughout their careers as Stańko has. Of course the name of Miles Davis comes to mind first, and not by coincidence – just listen to The Birth of the Cool and The Cellar Door Sessions one disk after another. Stańko has always acknowledged the big influence that Miles has had on his own art. Looking around, it is difficult to find anybody else – perhaps with the exception of Wayne Shorter – who has been so faithful to his language for such a long time. Of course the forms of expression have changed and the language is different today than it was 30 years ago, but the song remains the same. We all should hope to listen to this song for many more decades to come.

Article adapted from www.polishjazz.com.

Cracow Klezmer Band Release

Balan: Book Of Angels Volume 5
Cracow Klezmer Band
Tzadik 7358

Since it was formed in 1997 by accordionist and composer Jaroslav Bester, the Cracow Klezmer Band quickly established itself as one of the most passionate, creative, and versatile bands in the New Jewish Renaissance. They are also now regarded as one of the most exciting acoustic groups in the world, acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. With four highly successful CDs on the legendary John Zorn’s Tadzik label, Balan, the fifth, is the second one based on themes by Zorn himself. Each of the eight pieces is named after one of the Biblical Fallen Angels. This time Bester augments his own team (other band members are Jaroslaw Tyrala – violin, Oleg Dyyak – accordion/clarinet/percussion, and Wojciech Front – double bass) with the innovative integration of the Cracow String Quartet, the uncanny voice of Jorgos Skolias, and accents of computer-generated music by Ireneusz Socha, for what Tomasz Handzlik in Gazeta Wyborcza calls “a fantastic fusion of klezmer and classical, jazz and Balkan folk music”. Tadzik’s previous CKB releases are De Profundis(TZ 7143), The Warriors (TZ 7157), Bereshit (TZ 7183), and Sanatorium under the Sign of the Hourglass (TZ 7349). Visit www.Tzadik.com or www.ckb.cracow.pl for more information.

New From DUX

Vivaldi, Four Seasons
Antonio Vivaldi: Four Seasons
Andrzej Krawiec, violin solo; Tomasz Głuchowski, harpsichord; Opole Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, Bogusław Dawidow, conductor
DUX 0535

Jasnogórska Muzyka Dawna. Musica Claromontana, vol. 13Amando Ivančić Osppe: Missa Solemnis, Litania de B. Maria Virgine
Anna Mikołajczyk, soprano; Piotr Olech, alto; Krzysztof Szmyt – tenor, Mirosław Borczyński, bass; Sine Nomine Vocal Ensemble; Piotr Zawistowski, chorus master; Concerto Polacco Ensemble (on period instruments); Marek Toporowski, conductor
DUX 0352

Polish 20th Century Sonatas for Flute & Piano
Adam Świerzyński: Taniec Kaszubski na flet i fortepian, Krakowiak na flet i fortepian, Mewy, Sonata na flet i fortepian; Tadeusz Szeligowski: Sonata na flet i fortepian; Aleksander Tansman: Sonatina na flet i fortepian; Bolesław Wojtowicz: Sonata na flet i fortepian
Marta A. Balińska, flute; Bernard Job, piano
DUX 0545.

New From Acte Préalable

Józef Elsner Chamber works with piano
Józef Elsner: Sonatas for violin and piano: D major Op. 10 No. 2 & F major Op. 10 No. 1, Polonaise for violin and piano in D major, Grande Sonate in B flat major, Piano Quartet in E flat major
Joanna Ławrynowicz, piano; Andrzej Gębski, violin; Anna Betley, viola; Jarosław Domżał, cello

Michał Kleofas Ogiński Harpsichord works
Michał Kleofas Ogiński: Polonaises, Valses, Menuet, Mazurkas, Quadrilles, Polonaises for 3 & 4 hands
Elżbieta Stefańska, Mariko Kato, harpsichord

Romuald Twardowski Chamber Works 2 
Romuald Twardowski: Sonatina for 2 violins; Canzona for cello and piano; Piano trio No. 2; Meditation for cello and piano; Youth trio; 3 Etudes-caprices for violin; Invocation and toccata for 2 cellos; Campane IV for piano; 3 Sketches for violin, viola and cello; Spanish fantasy for cello and piano; Tango for violin and piano
Joanna Ławrynowicz, piano; Andrzej Gębski, violin; Anna Betley, violin &
viola; Jarosław Domżał, cello; Piotr Hausenplas, cello

Johann Sebastian Bach: Suite in C minor BWV 997; Astor Piazzolla: Histoire du Tango; Mauro Giuliani: Variations on a theme by Haendel Op. 107; François Borne: Fantaisie brillante sur Carmen de Georges Bizet
Duoartus: Krzysztof Kaczka, flute; Perry Schack, guitar

József (Joseph) Joachim: Hebräische Melodien nach Eindrücken der Byronschen Gesänge Op. 9 for viola and piano; Max Bruch: Romans in F major for viola and orchestra Op. 85 version for viola andpiano; Ernest Bloch: Suite hébraďque for viola (or violin) and piano “To the Covenant Club of Illinois”
Przemysław Florczak, viola; Elżbieta Tyszecka, piano


Kurkowicz Plays Ptaszyńska

On September 28th, violinist Joanna Kurkowicz performed Dream Lands and Magic Spaces by Marta Ptaszyńska, a piece written for violin solo and percussion ensemble. She performed with the Percussion Plus Ensemble, a unique contemporary chamber music ensemble, at DePauw University in Greencastle Indiana. The program also included J. Harbison’s 14 Fabled Songs and L. Harrison’s Violin Concerto.

As is evidenced by her choice of repertoire for this and other concerts, Ms. Kurkowicz is a strong advocate of contemporary music. She has premiered works by G. Schuller, R. Shapey, P. Ruders, D. Kechley and G. Bacewicz. Her most recent world premiere of S. Korde’s Violin Concerto, a piece inspired by and written for her, with the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Poland was met with enthusiastic response. This premiere was recorded for release on Chandos Records, and several tracks are available on their website for listening and download: www.theclassicalshop.net.

For more information on Joanna Kurkowicz, please visit her newly launched website:www.joannakurkowicz.com .

Piotrs Paleczny & Gajewski

On September 30th 2006, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland and the U.S. National Philharmonic presented a concert of two Piotrs from Poland at the Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, MD. Pianist Piotr Paleczny (pictured at left) joined Maestro Piotr Gajewski, Musical Director for the National Philharmonic, for Chopin’s Piano Concerto No.1 .  The program also included Schubert’s once lost and still “Unfinished” Symphony No. 8, and introduced Made in America by Joan Tower, “One of the most successful woman composers of all time” (The New Yorker).


Lucjan Kydryński

Lucjan Kydryński, one of the most recognized names in the Polish music press world, has died at the age of 77. He was a famous reporter, publicist, and author of many TV and radio shows dedicated to music, both classical and popular. He served as host for many Polish music festivals, including the Opole and Sopot song festivals. He was also an author of many music books, including The Guide of Operetta and The Guide to Film Musicals. According to Włodzimierz Korcz “His passing means an end of an era of elegance and culture on the Polish stage – everything he touched became culture.”


Born This Month

  • 3 October 1882 – Karol SZYMANOWSKI, composer, pianist, (d. 29 March 1937)
  • 3 October 1923 – Stanislaw SKROWACZEWSKI, composer and conductor
  • 4 October 1910 – Eugenia UMINSKA, violinist
  • 6 October 1885 – Karol STROMENGER, teacher, composer, publicist, music critic (d. 1975)
  • 9 October 1924 – Regina SMENDZIANKA, pianist
  • 10 October 1910 – Henryk SWOLKIEN, music critic, composer
  • 14 October 1910 – Lech MIKLASZEWSKI, children’s song writer, author of popular radio music shows for children, music publicist (d. 1992)
  • 16 October 1867 – Ferdynand HOESICK, music critic, publisher (d. 13 April 1941)
  • 18 October 1879 – Grzegorz FITELBERG, conductor, violinist, composer (d. 10 June 1953)
  • 20 October 1819 – Karol MIKULI, pianist, composer, conductor, Chopin’s student (d. 21 May 1897)
  • 20 October 1935 – Henryk SWOLKIEN, composer, publicist, music promoter (d. 1990)
  • 25 October 1868 – Michal SWIERZYNSKI, composer, conductor (d. 30 June 1957)
  • 30 October 1904 – Alfred GRADSTEIN, composer, activist (d. 29 September 1954)


Died This Month

  • 1 October 1990 – Andrzej KRZANOWSKI, composer, accordion player (b. 1951)
  • 1 October 1861 – Tekla Justyna KRZYZANOWSKA, pianist, Chopin’s mother (b. September 1780)
  • 7 October 1854 – Adolf CICHOWSKI, Chopin’s friend, officer and civil servant (b.1794)
  • 17 October 1849 – Fryderyk CHOPIN, composer and pianist (b. 1 March (also listed as February 22) 1810)
  • 17 October 1938 – Aleksander MICHALOWSKI, pianist, composer, Tausig’s student (b. 5 May 1851)
  • 18 October 1962 – Maria SZCZEPANSKA, musicologist (b. 13 May 1902)
  • 21 October 1837 – Michal Józef GUZIKOW, folk musician (b. 1806)
  • 27 October 1991 – Andrzej PANUFNIK, composer and conductor (b. 24 September 1914)
  • 30 October 1912 – Jan Karol GALL, composer and conductor (b. 18 August 1856)
  • 31 October 1952 – Adolf CHYBINSKI, musicologist (b. 29 April 1880)