Piano Secrets in Etude

From our dear friend in Santa Barbara area, Betty Harford, the gift of a copy of the November 1933 issue of TheEtude magazine was given. In pristine condition, the magazine has a rare portrait of Chopin on the cover and many articles about Polish music and musicians inside, including a fascinating photo of Chopin’s piano that apparently toured the U.S. with the French virtuoso Maurice Dumesnil. Leopold Godowsky’s extensive article entitled “The Best Method is Eclectic” has fascinating insights into piano technique by an acknowledged super-virtuoso. Also, interviews with many other musicians and sheet music reproduced inside gives the reader a privileged perspective on music-making in America in the 1930s.

Chopin Choral Music

Exciting things do happen at PMC from time to time. Last week, there was a large cardboard box addressed to us from a person in the Bay Area whose name wasn’t familiar to us. When we opened the parcel, we found a very nice letter from Ms. Sonia Seeman alongside a thick folder of choral and vocal music from the estate of her deceased parents, Joseph and Janina Swadowski. It is a fascinating glimpse into the music activities of the Chopin Chorus of Los Angeles in the middle decades of last century. In the coming months we will examine and process the collection, and make it available to students, faculty, researchers and other interested parties using the resources of the Polish Music Center. We plan to name it the Joseph and Janina Swadowski Collection and eventually have it listed online.