October 1997

Polish Music Reference Center Newsletter Vol. 3, no. 10

Gorecki Autumn at USC Schedule

Oct 1: Gorecki Solo & Chamber Music: James Harley, artistic director.
Sonata no. 1, op.6 for solo piano; Intermezzo and Four Preludes for solo piano;
For you, Anne-Lill, op. 58 for flute and piano; Variations for violin and piano, op.4;
Valentine Piece op. 70 for flute solo and little bell.
8:00 p.m. * Hancock Auditorium * $5/2

Oct 2: Introduction to the Music of Gorecki: Adrian Thomas, lecturer.
Screening of a video about the composer.
7:00 p.m. * Arnold Schoenberg Institute USC campus * $5/2

Oct 3Gorecki Conducting Gorecki
Formal announcement of the Endowed Position in Polish Music and introduction
of Assistant Professor Maria Anna Harley as the first Stefan and Wanda Wilk
Director of the Polish Music Reference Center

Symphony no. 3, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs:
USC Symphony, Henryk Gorecki, guest conductor, Elizabeth Hynes, soprano
8:00 p.m. * Bovard Auditorium * $5/2

Oct 4Composition and Performance Forum:
Gorecki with Adrian Thomas and Maria Anna Harley, director of the
Polish Music Center at USC.
11-12:00 Room 106. Open to USC students and faculty.

Oct 5The Gorecki Phenomenon A Music History Symposium
Adrian Thomas, Luke Howard, David Kopplin, Maria Anna Harley,
James Harley, & Mark Swed.
11:00 – 3:00 p.m. * Arnold Schoenberg Institute * $5/2

Oct 5USC Contemporary Music Ensemble
Donald Crockett, conductor.
GORECKI: Good NightKleines Requiem fur eine Polka
8:00 p.m. * Hancock Auditorium * $5/2

* The three concerts (1,3,5) of the Gorecki Autumn will be broadcast on three consecutive Sundays at 8:00 p.m. on radio station KUSC starting on Sunday, October 12th.

*Adrian Thomas is the professor of music at the University of Wales, Cardiff is the author of the first book in English on Gorecki, just hot off the press as part of the Oxford Studies of Composers published by Oxford University Press. It includes a complete list of works since 1955 with details of instrumentation and recordings, and a select bibliography.
Note: For an interesting essay and list of recordings of Gorecki’s music by composer James Harley, see the Essay section of our web site! It was first published by Sonances.


What’s this? Dancing to the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs? That’s what John Malashock of San Diego was inspired to do. The Emmy-Award winning choreographer (for Apologies from the lower deck) who founded the 7-person Malashock Dance & Company in 1988 did just that ….and more! He toured Poland with three dance spectacles to the music of Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki: “Windows Dressers” to the Third Symphony; “Almost a Fantasy” to music of the Second String Quartet and “Broad Waters” to a folk-song of the same name arranged for mixed choir (op. 39) by the composer. The trip to Poland was part of the Sister Cities Program between Warsaw and San Diego. The composer will visit San Diego after his short residency at USC for a private presentation by the modern dance ensemble. For anyone reading Polish see the full page spread by Danuta Derlinska-Pawlak in the Sep 18th issue of Nowy Dziennik from New York.

Speaking of Gorecki, you can hear his music in the French film Mon Homme now playing exclusively at the Westside Pavilion, 10800 W. Pico Blvd., West Los Angeles (310) 475- 0202 and the Town Center 4, Bristol at Anton, South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa (714) 750-4184.

The film was reviewed by Kevin Thomas in the Los Angeles Times on Sep 12th. The music of Henryk Gorecki serves as a background for the love scene. Director Bertrand Blier “selected…excerpts from the elegiac music of HMG, explaining that `eroticism is always linked to liturgy.'”

Michal Merczynski has been asked to be the new president of the Henryk Wieniawski Music Society in Poznan due to the untimely death of Zdzislaw Dworzecki.

A record number of applicants, 136, from 29 countries entered the VII Karol Lipinski & Henryk Wieniawski International Competition for Young Violinists in Lublin, which began Sep 20th. Former winners include Victoria Mullova and Bartlomiej Niziol.

An excellent report on the Festival of Polish Music in Youngstown, Ohio (April 6-11) and the International Women in Composition Congress at Cal Arts, Valencia (May 29-June 2) written by Maria Anna Harley was published in Ruch Muzyczny (Sep 21 issue).

What happened to Paderewski’s villa in Switzerland? Read about it in the Sep ’97 Forum from the Polish Arts and Culture Foundation in San Francisco. Wanda Tomczykowska, President. Written by Anne Strakacz-Appleton, daughter of Paderewski’s personal secretary, who spent her childhood living with the famous pianist.

The II Polish-German Course of Solo and Chamber Music was held in Zakopane led by Polish violinist Wanda Wilkomirska and German pianist Rudolf Meister, professor of music from Heidelberg. The initial concert was performed in “Atma” the Szymanowski museum in Zakopane. Music of Bach, Schubert, Brahms and Szymanowski was performed by the artists. Wilkomirska received an award for promoting the music of Szymanowski.

Calendar of Events

OCTOBER: Many jazz concerts in Poland with US 3 touring Wroclaw, Opole and Warsaw. James BROWN appearing in a Jazz Jamboree.

OCT 3The World of Karol Szymanowski. Grazyna Kafka, sop; Piotr Folkert, piano; Penderecki’s String Quartet. Hosted by WZXR June LeBell. 8:00 p.m. Weill/Carnegie Hall. NY (212) 247-7800.

OCT 4: Naperville Community Orchestra in Illinois presents a program of music by Polish composers. Featuring MONIUSZKO‘s Overture to the opera, Bajka.

OCT 7David Dubal“The Life, Career & Death of Chopin.” Part 1 of a series of four. Featuring NY City musicians and some advanced students from Mr. Dubal’s classes at Juilliard. $15/$10. Kosciuszko Foundation. 15 E. 65th St., NY

OCT 14: David Dubal Part II.

OCT 15: Pianist Krystian ZIMERMAN performing Rachmaninov‘s Piano Concerto no. 1. Boston Symphony. Seiji Ozawa, cond. Carnegie Hall.

OCT 18: Piano recital. Wojciech KOCYAN of Los Angeles. San Francisco Council of the Chopin Foundation.

OCT 19The Music of Grazyna Bacewicz. Cassatt String Quartet. Kosciuszko Foundation. 3:00 p.m. Inaugural Concert of the 1997-1998 Kosciuszko Foundation Series. $20/15. WQXR radio broadcast: Sat, Nov 1 @ 9:00 p.m.

OCT 19: Chopin Chorus of New Jersey. Sponsored by the Chopin Foundation Council of Greater New York, Jan Gorbaty, president. Consulate General of the Republic of Poland, 233 Madison Ave., NY. 2:00 p.m.

OCT 21David Dubal: Part II

OCT 28David Dubal: Part III

OCT 28The Music Gallery. Live broadcast over WNYC-FM 93.9 hosted by John Schaefer. Music performance and conversation with a Polish accent. Christopher WELDON, laureate, 1997 Chopin Competition. $10/7

OCT 30-Nov 1: Penderecki Week. Krzysztof PENDERECKI conducts the New York Philharmonic in the premiere of his 5th Symphony. Also the Threnedy to victims of Hiroshima. 8:00 p.m. Kaufmann Hall. 92nd St. Pre-concert lecture.


The Dutch group Total Touch won the Grand Prix at the International Song Festival in Sopot, Poland. Since 1961 such stars as Charles Aznavour, Goombay Dance Band, Demis Roussos, Boney M, Jose Feliciano, Johnny Cash, Karel Gott, have taken part in the festival along with Polish vocalists Ewa Demarczyk (the “Black Angel”); Anna German and Czeslaw Niemen.

On the short list of the Gramophone Awards sponsored by the Britannia Music Club:

SZYMANOWSKI’s Violin Concertos. Zehetmair, violin, Simon Rattle, cond.(EMI CDC 5 55607-2)

Deutscher Schallplattenpreis

Best Symphonic recording of the year:
Czeslaw MAREK: Meditations, Suite & Sinfonia, The Philharmonia London, Gary Brain, cond. Koch Int’l CD 364 392.

Best Piano Concerto Recording of the Year: LUTOSLAWSKI/SZYMANOWSKI. Bamberger Symphoniker, James Judd, cond. Ewa Kupiec, piano. Koch Int’l CD 364-142.


Newest Releases

MINERVA 2 MN A49/50The Stars of the Warsaw Opera HouseThe Unknown Recordings. Polish and other arias. Salomea Kruszelnicka; Janina Korolewicz, Ada Sari; Eugeniusz Mossakowski,; Edouard de Reszke; Adam Didur, etc.

HANDOS CHN 9523. GORECKI: Misere for Chorus, op. 44. Jesper Grove Jergensen, cond. Danish National Radio choir. Also Gubaidulina: Alleluia.

Three new releases of LUTOSLAWSKI’s music: CAMERATA 30 CM 320. Dance Preludes, Karl Leister, cl, Ferenc Bogner, p.

NAXOS 8.553423Les Espaces du sommeil for baritone & orch., Paroles tissees for tenor & chamber orch., Symphony no. 3. Variations on a theme by Paganini for piano & orch. Polish National RSP Katowice, Antoni Wit, cond. Adam Kruszewski, bar.; Piotr Kusiewicz, tenor; Bernard Glemser, piano.

CPO CPO 999386-2. Symphony no. 2; Symphony no. 4.

ALTAUS AIR CD 9045. PADEREWSKIPiano Music (complete). Vol. 1. Adam Wodnicki, piano. Miscellanea, op. 16, Sonata in eb, op. 21; Tatra Album, op. 12.

Hurrah for Naxos and Koch-Schwann for their newest releases of Szymanowski’s music!!! And at tempting prices!

KOCH DISCOVER INTL DIS 920464Concerto no. 1 & no. 2 for violin and orch. Bijan Khadem-Missagh, vn. Vienna NTO Fonkeunstler Orch.

KOCH DISCOVER INTL DIS 920484Variations on a Polish Folk theme in b for piano. Lambis Vassiliadis, pno.

NAXOS 8.553686Etude in Bb for piano, op. 4 no. 3Harnasie balletMandragora ballet-pantomine; Karol Stryja, cond. Polish State PO & Chorus, Katowice. Henryk Grychnik, ten; Stanislaw Meus, ten.Note: This recording was reviewed by Michael Oliver in the October issue of Gramaphone, who complained of the lack of any texts or translations to the vocal works and not a word about the subject matter of the two ballets.Wilk’s note: Guess I will have to send him our latest monograph in the Polish Music History Series that I initiated back in 1982: Karol Szymanowski by Teresa Chylinska. There one will find all the texts and information that one needs to enjoy the music.

NAXOS 8.553687Demeter in A for contralto, orch & female chorus. Litany to the Virgin MaryPenthesilea for sop & orch. Stabat Mater for sop., contralto, bar, orch & chorus. Veni Creator for sop, organ, orch & chorus. Karol Stryja, cond. Polish State PO & Chous, Katowice. Anna Malewicz- Madej, alto; Roma Owsinska, sop; Jadwiga Gadulanka sop, Krystyna Szostek-Radkowa, cta, Andrzej Hiolski, bar. Barbara Zagorzanka, sop.

MERIDIAN MER 84323Mazurkas (20) for piano, op. 50. Karol Bingham, piano.

DIVOX DVX 28902. Quartet no. 2 for strings, op. 56. Amati String Quartet.

Three new CHOPIN discs were among the U.S.’s top classical and public radio stations’ choices for the month of October, as published in Gramophone:

Boston WCRB chose Piano Works. Pletnev, piano DG 453 456 2GH

Fort Worth KTCU: Etudes & Rondos, Chiu, Harmonia Mundi HMU90 7201

Tampa WUSF: Piano Works. Pletnev. DG 453-456-2GH
Note: Philip Kennicott seconds the praise Bryce Morrison “gave to Frederic Chiu’s new Chopin recital. (Gramophone)

EMI British Composers series

CDM5 66121-2 Violin concertos by L. BERKELEY, PANUFNIK and WILLIAMSON. New music performed with much verve and charisma by violinist Yehudi Menuhin.

Of the three British composers (Polish composer Panufnik lived the latter half of his life in England) Gramophone reviewer Duncan Druce finds that “Panufnik’s is the most original and memorable of the 3 concertos – the simplicity of the material seems to spur his imagination to produce music of concentrated and intense expression, above all in the central Adagio…”

The Four Hands Music company of England has issued two CDs with music for four hands:

FHMD 9671. MOSZKOWSKIAus aller herren landern, op. 23

FHMD 9672. MOSZKOWSKISpanish Album, op. 21 & Kaleidoscope, op. 74. 


Born This Month

  • OCT 3: Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882 – Mar 29, 1937)
  • OCT 3: Stanislaw SKROWACZEWSKI (1923)


Died This Month

  • OCT 27, 1991: Sir Andrzej PANUFNIK

Recent Performances

Many concerts in Poland for the benefit of the recent flood victims: On Sep 6 & 7th PENDERECKI conducted the “Synfonia Varsovia” in three of his works: Concerto for flute & orch,; Sinfonietta for strings and Concerto for clarinet & orchestra. David Aguilar, fl., Dimitri Ashkenazy, cl.

The Musica Antiqua Europae Orientalis International Festival was held for the 11th time in Bydgoszcz, Poland. Included in the program was the music of Hildegarde von Bingen and music from the Royal Hungarian Courts. Among the many ensembles: “Rondellus” from Tallin, Estonia; a Greek Byzantine choir from Athens and “Affeti Musicali” from Budapest.


Chopin: The Piano Concertos by John Rink of the University of London can be purchased from Cambridge University Press in New York. 128 pp. $34.95 Discounted to $27.96. Paperback: $9.56.