April 1995

Polish Music Reference Center Newsletter Vol. 1, no. 4

News Flash!

Polish composer, Henryk Gorecki, received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. During the ceremony that took place at the Polish Embassy the University choir and Orchestra performed several of Gorecki’s choral works, among them, Ad matrem for soprano, mixed choir and orchestra.

An American premiere of Gorecki‘s Concerto for flute and orchestra took place on March 2 at Orchestra Hall in Chicago. It was performed by Carol Wincenc with Eric Klasconducting the Chicago Symphony.

The latest scores now available are: Aria (tuba, piano, tamtam and bass drum) and String Quartet no. 2. Boosey & Hawkes, publishers.

Krzysztof Penderecki also received an Honorary Doctorate on December 14, 1995 from Prof. Andrzej Chorosinski, rector (president) of the Chopin Academy of Music, Warsaw. Composer and professor Wlodzimierz Kotonski gave the introduction.

The Polish music newspaper Ruch Muzyczny has had a face-lift. It is now a handsome 7 1/2″ x 11″ journal which makes for easier reading and shelf storage. Polish language only. For info on subscriptions FAX 48-22-25-91-57.

Calendar of Events

April 9 – Polish jazz pianist Adam Makowicz performs works by GershwinRodgersCole Porter and his own compositions at Haffey Hall. Part of the Skalny Lecture and Artists Series.

April 11 – Violinist Midori will include Szymanowski‘s “Dryades & Pan” from “Mythes,” op. 30 in her recital at the Los Angeles Music Center Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

April 12, 13, 15, 16 – Esa-Pekka Salonen will conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Szymanowski‘s Violin Concerto no. 1 with concertmaster Alexander Treger as soloist.

April 18 – Krystian Zimerman will perform the piano works of DebussyWebernBach and Chopin. Part of the Celebrity Recitals presented by the L.A. Philharmonic. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Charge tickets for the L.A. Music Center concerts by phone: 213-365-3500.

Did You Know That…..

… the bestsellers in recordings in Warsaw include the: Bach Goldberg Variations and Violin Concerti; Debussy Preludes and Chopin Piano Concertos with K. Zimerman; Gorecki’s Miserere, Lutoslawski’s “Last Concert” recorded by the National Philharmonic; Pretorius’ Christmette (Gabrielli Consort and Players); Chopin. A recital by Janusz Olejniczak and Carmen-Fantasie by Anna Sophie Mutter.

… Australian film director, Peter Weir, used part of Gorecki’s III Symphony as background music for his film, “Fearless.”

… fashion designer Oleg Cassini was Polish? Born Oleg Lolewski on April 11, 1911.As long as we started on a non-musical theme…the great Shakespearean actress, Helena Modjeska (born Modrzejewska) died in California in Newport Beach in 1909. She first learned English at age 35 and was a great friend of Ignace Jan Paderewski, who visited her during his concert tours to California at her residence in Anaheim. Her home, Arden House, has been turned into a museum.

Newest Releases

The newest rendition of Gorecki‘s III Symphony is a Polish performance with Joanna Kozlowska, soprano and Kazimierz Kord conducting the Warsaw Philharmonic. Philip (“solo” series) 442411-2. Mid-priced.

Marco Polo has just released an interesting disc: Guitar music by Alexandre Tansman (1897-1986). Mark Regnier. Marco Polo 8.223690.

Moritz Moszkowski‘s (1854-1925) Piano Concerto in E, op. 59 (1898) is on Ondine ODE 818. Matti Raekallio, pianist.

Penderecki‘s Chamber Music is on Wergo WER 6258-2 with the Silesian String QuartetWaldemar Malicki, piano and Aleksander Romanski, clarinet.

The Brodsky Quartet performs among others, 5 Pieces for String Quartet by one of Poland’s outstanding younger composers, Pawel Szymanski. Silva Classics CD 6001.

A recent discovery: the 1940 Vatican Radio Recordings of the pianist Mieczyslaw Horszowski. Pearl PEA 9108.

The Maggini String Quartet recorded the Bacewicz String Quartet no. 4 (1950) and Szymanowski‘s two String Quartets. ASV 908.

Quite a few CHOPIN new releases

Daniel Pollack, pianist and professor at the University of Southern California, recorded the SonatasNocturnes and Ballades on Infinity label. QK64373.

Canyon Classics is putting out The Complete ChopinJaroslav Drzewiecki is on Volume 6 and Tatiana Shebanova on Volume 16.

Other artists to look for in these newest releases of Chopin’s music: Robert Silverman, Fou Ts’ong, Alexander Uninsky, Horowitz, Istvan Szekely, Sandor Falvay, Benedetti, Solomon, Michel Block, Cyprien Katsaris, Sylvia Toran, Claudio Arrau, Georges Cziffra and David Zinman leading the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in Les Sylphides.

Conifer Classics CDCF 217 and 218 present chamber music of the late Andrzej Panufnik3 String Quartets and Song to the Virgin Mary for String SextetChilingirian String Quartet and Sinfonia concertante for flute, harp and strings, Concertino for tympani, percussion & strings and Harmony for chamber orch. London Musici.

As a result of the celebration of Polish music at BBC last fall, a new disc entitled Polska! A celebration of Polish Music. Music of Gorecki (Totus anni); Szymanowski (Six Kurpian Songs); Bacewicz (III String Quartet); Waclaw Z Szamotul (Seven songs); Penderecki (Agnus Dei). BBC Singers, Bo Holten, director; Penderecki String Quartet. United U 88021.

Jascha Heifitz performing the Wieniawski Violin Concerto no. 2, op. 22. Grammofono 2000 GRM 78511.

For those of you who remember the tenor, Jan Kiepura, a second volume is out on the Pearl label. CD 9079 “My song for you” features various arias from opera, operettas and popular songs. Includes duets with Marta Eggerth. Vol. 1 is on CD 9976.

Be sure to look for these, if you don’t have them in your collection as yet: Szymanowski‘s opera, King Roger, on Marco Polo (Opera Classics) 82233 39/40 which also includes Prince Potemkin for orchestra and his great choral masterpiece Stabat Mater. This time with the great American choral director, Robert Shaw, leading the Atlanta Symphony and Chorus. Telarc CD 80362.

The other “must have” in your collection should be Lutoslawski‘s Symphonies no. 3 & 4 and Les espaces du sommeil for baritone and orchestra. Sony Classical SK 66280.Esa-Pekka Salonen, Los Angeles PO (conductor), John Shirley- Quirk.

Joan La Barbara wrote in the Spring 1995 Schwann Opus issue “A recent Elektra Nonesuch recording (79348-2) of religious settings that Gorecki wrote between 1972 and 1981, contains some of the finest contemporary a capella choral writing available today – it alternately soothes the spirit and moves one to the edge of tears.” The title work is Miserere and is perofrmed by the Chicago Symphony and Chicago Lyric Opera Choruses and conducted by John Nelson. Additional secular works sung by the Lira Chamber Chorus are conducted by Lucy Ding.