July 2022 was another month of several very important donations to the Polish Music Center. Gifts came from various friends and partners and they will enrich our flagship archive, the PMC Manuscript Collection, as well as our score and sound library holdings.

From Marta Ptaszyńska

Long-time friend of the Polish Music Center and the 2005 Paderewski Lecturer, composer and percussionist Marta Ptaszyńska, recently presented PMC Director Marek Zebrowski with several of her manuscripts, as well as several interesting anecdotes about the works that provide historical context and the musical milieu within which they were written. These manuscripts include:

  • Musique pour enfants (pour les instruments de percussion)/Muzyka dziecięca (na instrumenty perkusyjne) [Music for children (for percussion)], a suite of seven short and charming movements dating from around 1970
  • Mała mozaika dla dzieci w szkołach ogólnokształcących [A small mosaic for schoolchildren] for children’s percussion ensemble in seven movements, also dating from 1970 and based on folk melodies
  • Interludes pour 2 pianos, a 1968 work in three movements that was highly praised by Witold Lutosławski
  • Jeu-partie entre vibraphone et arpe, a work written in 1970 in Paris for Nadia Boulanger, who was moved to tears when she heard a live performance of this piece
  • Madrigals—“Canticum sonorum” in memoriam Igor Stravinsky, scored for wind and string quartets, trumpet and trombone. As indicated on the front cover of the manuscript, it was a prize-winning work at the prestigious Competition for Young Polish Composers in Warsaw in 1971. The composer’s manuscript also contains markings made by American composer John Adams, who conducted a concert performance of this work with San Francisco Chamber Players in 1977 with the celebrated Japanese composer, Tōru Takemitsu in attendance.
  • Spatial Model/Model przestrzenny, one of Ptaszyńska’s most famous compositions for three groups of percussionists, written in 1971
  • Recitativo, Arioso, Toccata, a virtuoso three-movement solo violin work, written in 1975 and required as an obligatory repertoire at many violin competitions worldwide

Marta Ptaszyńska also enriched our sound and video library by donating a DVD of the 2010 world premiere performance of her opera, Kochankowie z klasztoru Valldemosa [Lovers from the Valldemosa Convent] at Warsaw’s Teatr Wielki and a CD from the March 2022 concert in Chicago, Portrait of Marta Ptaszyńska, performed by the Zafa Collective.

These manuscripts and recordings will join Marta Ptaszyńska’s works already in the PMC’s Manuscript Collection, including From Persian Tapestries (for harp solo), Un grand sommeil (for flute, soprano and harp), Siderails (for winds and percussion), and Crystallites for Orchestra.

Krzysztof Meyer

Another great friend of the PMC and 2020 Paderewski Lecturer, composer and pianist Krzysztof Meyer recently visited to Los Angeles and donated several more of his manuscripts to us in April 2022. This July in Poland, he presented the Center with yet another beautiful manuscript, of his 24 Preludia na fortepian [24 Preludes for Piano], Op. 43. Written during the years 1977-1978, the composer frequently performed them in concert and recorded the cycle as well. This splendid gift came with a photocopy of a concert program at the Musikhochschule Lübeck, where the composer performed his Preludes on 12 November 1990.

More CDs for the PMC Collection

Grzegorz Paluch (managing agent for composer Zygmunt Krauze among other great artists) donated to the PMC two CDs. The first is pianist Julia Kociuban’s disc “Polish Polonaises,” featuring works by Fryderyk Chopin, Alfons Szczerbiński, Jan Kiszwalter, Michał Kleofas Ogiński, Juliusz Zarębski, Ignacy Jan Paderewski and Józef Wieniawski. Paluch also donated a CD featuring accordionist Maciej Frąckiewicz and an ensemble with Łukasz Długosz, Sebastian Aleksandrowicz, Katarzyna Budnik-Gałązka, Marcin Zdunik and Grzegorz Stopa, in a repertoire of Mozart transcriptions with a contrasting work by a contemporary composer, Piotr Tabakiernik. Kociuban’s CD was issued by DUX, while Frąckiewicz’s disc came out on GWK Records.

From manager Agata Wolska (who has an impressive roster of pianists and composers), the PMC received four very interesting recordings. The first features Jakub Kuszlik in a repertoire of late works by Johannes Brahms (Seven Fantasies, Op. 116 and Four Piano Pieces, Op. 119) paired with Chopin’s Mazurkas, Op. 30 and his Sonata in B minor, Op. 58, issued by the Polskie Radio (PRCD 2389). Next are two CDs with pianist Piotr Sałajczyk, including Mieczysław Weinberg’s Piano Sonatas Op. 5, Op. 8 and Op. 31—this recording was reviewed in last month’s PMC Newsletter—the  other CD highlights piano trios by Weinberg, Aleksander Tansman and Andrzej Czajkowski. On this Accord ACD-247-2 recording, Piotr Sałajczyk is joined by violinist Szymon Krzeszowiec and cellist Arkadiusz Dobrowolski. The last CD from Ms. Wolska, “Pro modern—Comfort Zone 2019 (DUX 1634), features a selection of works by Krzysztof Penderecki, Jagoda Szmytka, Wojciech Blecharz, Aleksander Kościów, Witold Lutosławski and Piotr Tabakiernik in performance by the proMODERN vocal sextet: Marta Czarkowska, Ewa Puchalska, Ewelina Rzezińska, Andrzej Marusiak, Krzysztof Chalimoniuk, Piotr Pieron and pianist Piotr Sałajczyk that joins this ensemble on the electric piano in Kościów’s piece.