October 1998

Polish Music Reference Center Newsletter Vol. 4, no. 10

News Flash!

Polish Music Journal

We are pleased to announce the creation of a new electronic journal. This an academic, peer-reviewed publication devoted to musicological studies of Polish music and music in Poland. The Journal’s purpose is to provide a convenient, modern forum for publication of studies of the music that is not well known in the West. Its first issue has just been published on our web page (see Journal); the content includes three articles (by Tyrone Greive, Jill Timmons and Sylvain Fremaux, and student winner, Timothy Cooley) that have been awarded the 1997 Wilk Prizes for Research in Polish Music. One more issue will be published this year. In 1999 we hope to be able to convert the journal into a quarterly. The purpose of this publication is to fill in the gap between the Polish researchers, publishing in their native language, and the English-speaking world. Therefore, one or more issues of the PMJ will consists of translations of selected articles about Polish music written by Polish scholars and originally published in Polish, in the Polish Musicological Quarterly Muzyka. In order to make use of the capabilities of the electronic media, the Journal includes scanned musical examples (score excerpts) and samples of sound illustrations (recordings) for some, or all of the articles published. The Journal’s ID number is: ISSN 1521-6039.Maria Anna Harley serves as the Editor. The Editorial Board includes: Prof. Maciej Gołąb (Associate Professor of musicology, Institute of Musicology, University of Warsaw; also General Editor of Muzyka, Warsaw, Poland), Dr. Martina Homma (General Editor, Bela Verlag Music Publisher, Cologne, Germany), Prof. Jeffrey Kallberg (Professor of Music at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, U.S.), Prof. Zygmunt Szweykowski (Professor of Musicology, Institute of Musicology, Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland; also Member of the Editorial Board, Musica Iagellonica), Prof. Adrian Thomas (Professor of Music, Cardiff University of Wales, U.K), Dr. Elżbieta Witkowska Zaremba (Associate Professor, Institute of Fine Arts, Polish Academy of Sciences; also Member of the Editorial Board of Muzyka, Warsaw, Poland).


Polish Composers At The 1998 Warsaw Autumn

The program of the 41 International Festival of Contemporary Music, Warsaw Autumn included the following works by Polish composers:

  • Zbigniew Bargielski’s Trigonalia (Sept. 23, 5 p.m.)
  • Zbigniew Bargielski’s Slapstick commissioned by the Warsaw Autumn (Sept. 26, 4 p.m.)
  • Roman Berger’s Piano Trio commissioned by the Warsaw Autumn (Sept. 25, 5 p.m.)
  • Augustyn Bloch’s Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano (Sept. 25, 5 p.m.)
  • Maciej Jabłoński’s String Quartet no. 3 (Sept. 22, 5 p.m.)
  • Eugeniusz Knapik’s new work for three pianos commissioned by the Warsaw Autumn (Sept. 24, 5 p.m.)
  • Jerzy Kornowicz’s new work for chamber ensemble, commissioned by the Warsaw Autumn (Sept 20, 4 p.m.)
  • Monographic Concert of the Music of Zygmunt Krauze (Sept 18, 4 p.m.)
  • Zygmunt Krauze’s La Terre for orchestra, Polish premiere (Sept. 26, 7 p.m.)
  • Andrzej Krzanowski’s Study I (Sept 19, 7 p.m.)
  • Hanna Kulenty’s new work for flute, clarinet, cello and guitar, commissioned by the Warsaw Autumn (Sept 21, 5 p.m.)
  • Aleksander Lasoń’s Relief for Andrzej (Sept. 22, 5 p.m.)
  • Witold Lutosławski’s Symphony no. 4 (Sept 18, 7 p.m.)
  • Krzysztof Meyer’s Cello Concerto No. 2 (Sept 19, 7 p.m.)
  • Krzysztof Penderecki’s Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra (Sept. 21, 8 p.m.)
  • Krzysztof Penderecki’s Symphony no. 1 (Sept. 20, 7 p.m.)
  • Adam Walaciński’s new work for flute, guitar, viola, commissioned by the Warsaw Autumn (Sept 18, 10 p.m.)
  • Tadeusz Wielecki’s new work for violin and orchestra, commissioned by the Warsaw Autumn (Sept. 21, 8 p.m.)
  • Maciej Żołtowski’s Four Pieces for Chamber Orchestra (Sept. 23, 5 p.m.)

Polish American Heritage Month: Andrzej Chorosinski In California

Andrzej CHOROSINSKI (Hoh-ruh-sheen’-skey) is one of Poland’s most outstanding organists today. He will give three concerts in the Los Angeles region this month (listed below in the Calendar). His visit to California is organized by the School of Music of the University of Southern California in cooperation with a host of institutions. Particular credit should be given to Prof. Ladd Thomas, the chair of USC organ class who had just returned from a highly successful tournee in Poland. Andrzej Chorosinski is the Rector (President) of the F. Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. Several years ago the Academy and the USC School of Music started a professional/student exchange program. So far composer Andrzej Dutkiewicz and Mr. Chorosinski have participated from the Polish side, while the American guests in Poland included USC Chamber Singers, Dean Larry Livingston, conductor Daniel Lewis, Prof. Larry Rachless, and Prof. Ladd Thomas. Mr. Chorosinski’s hosts in California include Polish American Congress of Southern California which will offer a reception after one of his concerts, the District Director of the Polish National Alliance in California, Mr. Richard Widerynski, with whom Mr. Chorosinski will stay at the outset of his visit here, and, finally, the PMRC that offered help in some local arrangements, such as advertising the concerts to the Polish community.

Internationally known as an artist and a teacher, Mr. Chorosinski is not only a professor and an academic administrator, but also a talented composer. His pupils come from all over the world and have won prizes in national and international competitions. As a soloist he has appeared in more than twenty countries, including the U.S., Canada, Japan, S. Korea, Israel and throughout Europe. He has performed in such major venues as the National Philharmonic in Stockholm, the Peter Tschaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the Kings College Chapel in Cambridge and the National Philharmonic Hall in Warsaw.

Mr. Chorosinski has made several radio television broadcasts in Poland and abroad and has completed a series of recordings for Polskie Nagrania, Veriton, EMI, Life Recordings and MDG. His compositions embrace chamber, choral, organ and film music. He has led master classes in organ improvisation in Germany and in interpretation of Polish music in Sweden, Finland, Japan and Israel. He also serves as artistic director of the Philharmonia in Jelenia Gora, and serves as President of the Board of Directors of Polish Schools of Art.

Andrzej Chorosinski was born in Warsaw in 1949. He graduated from the Szymanowski State School of Music in 1967 with a Diploma of Distinction in Organ and Music theory. He continued his studies at the Warsaw Academy of Music, graduating with distinction in organ in 1972 and in composition in 1974. His concerts in California will take place on October 18 in Long Beach (as part of the Long Beach Bach Festival), October 20 in Westwood (at the Westwood United Methodist Church) and on October 25 at the Pasadena Neighborhood Unitarian Church. Detailed information may be found below, in our calendar of events.

Polish/Jewish/Music! International Conference

November 15-16, 1998, Los Angeles

This conference, the first of its kind, attempts to fill some of the larger gaps in Polish music history by (1) highlighting the richness of achievements of Polish composers of Jewish descent and Jewish music in Poland and by (2) emphasizing the complexity of cultural relationships betweent the two ethnic groups, including both assimilation and coexistence. Invited scholars will discuss the lives and music of individual composers, groups of musicians (klezmer) and communities. Several subjects will be presented for the first time (or for the first time in North America); the conference will include lectures, lecture-recitals and panel discussions. Scholars from four countries will discuss music composed in and performed over the past 200 years. Two concerts will present rarely-heard solo and chamber music of Tansman, Koffler, Friedman, Rosenthal and others. The conference will end with a roundtable discussion focused on the issue of national and ethnic identity. It is hoped that by outlining this new subject area the conference will serve to further the Polish – Jewish dialogue as well as highlight the role of this particular community of musicians for the world. For more detailed information about the program and registration visit the conference web site:POLISH/JEWISH/MUSIC!


Polish Ministry of Culture and Arts * Jewish Community Foundation * Ars Musica Poloniae Foundation * Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion * Consulate General of the Republic of Poland, Los Angeles * Polish American Congress and Charities of Southern California * USC Institute for the Study of Jews in American Life * Friends of Polish Music, Los Angeles


Polish Composers of Jewish Descent * Assimilation and Identity * Emigration and Transnationalism * Ignacy Friedman * Grzegorz Fitelberg * Leopold Godowsky * Jozef Koffler * Szymon Laks * Karol Rathaus * Maurycy Rosenthal * Roman Ryterband * Maria Szymanowska * Aleksander Tansman * Henry Vars * Jewish Music in Poland * Polish Roots of Klezmer Music * Jewish Salons * Great Music by Great Virtuosi * Tradition and Avant-garde

Polish Music Festival In Evanston

The festival celebrates 80th anniversary of Poland’s independence (1918-1998) with a series of concerts and lectures scheduled for November 17-24, 1998. The festival will take place at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. It’s Artistic Coordinator and Conductor is Mariusz Smolij. It will be the largest single presentation of Polish music that ever took place in the United States. For more information visit the web-site of the Polish Suburban News, at http://www.polishnews.com, where the Festival has its own site.

You might order tickets by phone 847/467-4000,by fax: 847/467 – 1831, or by mail:

Pick-Staiger Concert Hall,
Northwestern University,
1977 South Campus Drive,
Evanston, IL 60208-2420

Kocyan and Radziwonowicz

Wojciech Kocyan will open the 3rd International Paderewski Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz on the 6th of November with a performance of Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s Piano Concerto in A minor under the baton of famed Polish conductor, Jerzy Maksymiuk. Kocyan, now a USC doctoral student, is a former winner of this competition. Meanwhile, Polish pianist, Karol Radziwonowicz, the only pianist to have recorded all of Paderewski’s piano works, will be in the jury. Mr. Radziwonowicz is in the process of recording all of Chopin’s orchestral works in a way that Chopin was supposed to have performed them, accompanied by a string quartet instead of an orchestra.

Ruth Slenczynska

Ruth Slenczynska, “Child prodigy, legendary pianist and virtuosa” (Ivory Classics) will represent the USA on the jury of the 5th International Franz Liszt Piano Competition to be held at the Music Centre Vredenburg, Utrecht, The Netherlands in 14-27 March 1999. Andrzej Jasinski, teacher of Krystian Zimerman, will represent Poland. We are happy to report that Ruth Slenczynska Kerr is a long-time member of the Friends of Polish Music @ USC, the support group for the Polish Music Reference Center. She is on the faculty of Southern Illinois U. @ Edwardsville, IL. Look for her CD in the first of a series of historic recordings on Ivory Classics (http://www.IvoryClassics.com). See Discography for more.

Agnieszka Lejman

Mezzo-soprano, Agnieszka Lejman, will sing songs by Polish composers, Moniuszko and Karlowicz and Mozart’s “Allelulia” at the Jubilee Ball, celebrating the Twentieth Anniversary of the Pontificate of Pope John Paul II at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on the 10th of October, sponsored by the Friends of John Paul II Foundation of Southern California, Mr. Cybulski, president. For an invitation call 626-281-0516.

Lason in Maryland

The National Chamber Orchestra in Maryland will perform “Hymn and Aria” by Aleksander Lason for 12 Feb 1999 with Polish conductor, Miroslaw Blaszczyk.


Krzysztof Penderecki has been named a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters (Am. Record Guide, Sep/Oct ‘98).Rafał Kwiatkowski, 20-year-old Polish cellist, is one of the two winners of the Fifth Young Concert Artists European Auditions, sponsored by the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy.” Over 100 artists from 29 countries applied to the competition. The award included accomodations and travel to New York (by Lufthansa) to participate in the Semi-Finals and Finals of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. In addition the prize includes DM 1,000 cash, musical scores from Barenreiter Publishers, and concerts in Leipzig, at the Usedom Festival in Northern Germany and at the Schlesisches Musik Festival in Poland. The other winner of the competition is 21-year-old Czech pianist, Martin Kasik. For more information contact Young Concert Artists Inc. in New York by phone (212-307-6655) or at their web-site: http://www.yca.org.

Calendar of Events

OCT 1: Zbigniew Preisner’s Requiem at the National Opera House, Warsaw. 7:00 p.m. Jacek Kasprzyk, cond. European Premiere. Gala performance to celebrate the International Day of Music.

OCT 2: Stanisław Moniuszko’s Halka at the National Opera House, Warsaw. Celebration of the the 3rd International Vocal Competition named after the composer.

OCT 3: WQXR Broadcast of the opening of the Kosciuszko Foundation 1998-1999 Chamber Music Series: The Lyric Piano Quartet performing music of Joaquin Turina, Wladyslaw Zelenski and Brahms at the K. F. in New York city. Saturday @ 9:00 p.m. EST. The concert was held at the K.F. on Sunday, 27 Sep.

OCT 4: Premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s opera Black Mask at the Slowacki Theater, Krakow, 7:30 p.m.

OCT 6: Bogusławski and Stefani’s Krakowiacy i Gorale, National Opera House, Warsaw, 7 p.m.

OCT 7: Krzysztof Penderecki’s Paradise Lost at the National Opera House, Warsaw, 7 p.m.

OCT 7: Wilanow String Quartet performs String Quartet no. 2 by Karol Szymanowski and String Quartet by Witold Lutoslawski at the F. Chopin Academy of Music, Warsaw. 7 p.m.

OCT 9: Zbigniew Rudziński’s chamber opera Manekiny based on the prose of Bruno Schultz, National Opera House, Warsaw, 7:15 p.m.

OCT 9: Krzysztof Penderecki’s Seven Gates of Jerusalem at the National Philharmonic, Warsaw. 7:30 p.m. Kazikierz Kord, cond.

OCT 11: Concert of Choral Music. Paderewski Singing Society. Sheraton Inn, Buffalo Airport. 2040 Walden Ave. Cheektowaga, NY

OCT 14: Ewa Podleś, Polish contralto. Ford Centre for the Performing Arts, 5040 Yonge St. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 8:00 p.m. Tickets $27-41. (416) 324-9333.

OCT 18: Andrzej Chorosiński in Long Beach, California. “Music of the Baroque” for organ. Part of the Long Beach Bach Festival. First Congregational Church. Cedar Ave. & 3rd St. 4:00 p.m. $10. Tickets: (562) 663-2710.

OCT 20: Andrzej Chorosiński in Westwood, California. “Symphonic Music for the Organ.” Music of Bach, Vivaldi, Szymanowski, Surzynski & Sawa. Westwood United Methodist Church. 10497 Wilshire Blvd. $15 (children free). Srs./Students $10. Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

OCT 25: Andrzej Chorosiński in Pasadena, California. Music of Bach, Surzynski, Szymanowski, Moussorgsky & Vivaldi. Pasadena Neighborhood Unitarian Church. 301 N. Orange Grove. 5:00 p.m. $12/$8. (626) 792-8546.


by Wanda Wilk

Music by Wieniawski Brothers:

Dramatic and rarely heard music of Henryk Wieniawski (1835-1880) and his brother Jozef has just been released by the Polish label SELENE (71232580362). Jozef was also a composer and a pianist and his music is still relatively unknown. What some music lovers may not know is that the Wieniawski brothers toured the United States in concert. Henryk composed a “Souvenir de San Francisco,” (ca 1874) which was published by Morrison, an American publisher, and dedicated to Conchita Blum Gomez. The recording is available in North America through the company of Mr. Lewandowski, Music from Poland. Phone: 650–341-3541, e-mail: edmund@sofia.com.

From Ivory Classics

Ivory Classics launches The Art of the Piano ‘Simply the Best Piano Recordings’ in the Grand Tradition Series with two recordings:

CD 70802: Ruth Slenczynska. Historic Performances of Bach, Liszt and Chopin/Liszt. (praised for phenomenal clarity and elegant playing).

CD 70804: Ralph Votapek plays Ginastera, Szymanowski, Poulence and Piazzolla. The great American pianist, who won the Gold Medal at the First International Van Cliburn Piano Competition plays “Masques” by Karol Szymanowski.

There is also a new recording on Ivory: CD 70701: Earl Wild playing all 21 Chopin Nocturnes.

From Philips

Philips has embarked on “the most ambitious piano project in the history of recording.” This is how International Piano Quarterly described the “Great Pianists of the 20th Century” series. It will involve 100 volumes, with the first 20 volumes already available. Those dealing with music by Polish composers or Polish artists are:

  1. Wilhelm Backhaus: Beethoven/Brahms/Chopin/Schubert [456 718-2]
  2. Julius Katchen: Brahms/Chopin/Mendelssohn/Balakirev/Rorem [456-856-2]
  3. Josef & Rosina Lhevinne: Beethoven/Debussy/Chopin/Mozart/Schumann/Tchaikovsky [456-889-2]
  4. Dinu Lipatti: Bach/Bach-Hess/Chopin/ Grieg/Ravell/Schubert/Schumann [456 892-2]
  5. Murray Perahia: Beethoven/Chopin/Liszt/Mendelssohn/Schumann [456 922-2]
  6. Sergei Rachmaninov: Beethoven/Chopin/Tchaikovsky/Rachmaninov/Schumann/Bach [456 943-2]
  7. Sviatoslav Richter: Chopin/Liszt/Moussorgsky/Prokofiev/Rachmaninov/Schubert/[456 9946-2]
  8. Artur Rubinstein: Chopin [456 955-2]

I hope the company will release Claudio Arrau’s Chopin performances. He is included in the anthology: the second disc of this series features Arrau playing Albeniz/Bach/Balakirev/Brahms/Liszt. My reason for this is because his Chopin style was so highly respected by the late Witold Lutoslawski. During one of my conversations with him, I made a remark that one needs to be Polish to play Chopin with real feeling. The composer disagreed and pointed to Claudio Arrau as the best example of a non-Pole playing Chopin’s music with a truly “Polish” soul.Note: Several of these CDs are reviewed in the Oct 1998 issue of Gramaphone magazine, along with a special article on Claudio Arrau by Jed Distler.

From Nimbus Records:

Nimbus Records Catalogue does not feature as many Polish composers as Naxos (and they are now spelling Rachmaninoff as Rakhmaninov), but it does have several Chopin discs (Vlado Perlemuter, Shura Cherkassky; Marta Deyanova); there is also a mazurka composed by Sir Edward Elgar and played by the English Symphony Orchestra. Martin Jones’s recording of Szymanowski’s Complete Piano Music v. 1 & 2 is also available. However, the company makes up for this scarcity of Polish composers by including many Polish artists in their Grand Piano series, which “presents major performances by the legendary pianists who recorded Duo-Art piano rolls for the New York based Aeolian Company between 1913 and 1930. Each Grand Piano release contains rare archival photos and extensive liner notes written by the noted pianist and piano historian David Dubal.”

  • NI 8801: The Grand Piano Era: Bauer, Busoni, Friedman, Grainger, Hofmann, Lamond, Medtner, Paderewski.
  • NI 8802: The Polish Virtuoso: Hofmann, Friedman, Paderewski play Hofmann, Moszkowski, Friedman.
  • NI 8803: Josef Hofmann plays Chopin.
  • NI 8804: Ignaz Friedman plays Liszt & Chopin.
  • NI 8807: D’Albert, Copeland, Grainger, Hess, Lortat, Paderewski, Rubinstein & Schmitz play Debussy.
  • NI 8808: Bauer, Friedman, Grainger, Hess & Samuel play Bach.
  • NI 8810: Ferruccio Busoni plays Liszt, Bach-Busoni & Chopin.
  • NI 8812: Paderewski plays Liszt, Schubert, Beethoven, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Wagner & Schelling.
  • NI 8814: Alfred Cortot plays Chopin, Liszt, Beethoven, Skriabin, Saint-Saens & Chabrier.
  • NI 8815: Paderewski & Scharwenka play Chopin.
  • NI 8816: Harold Bauer plays Schumann & Chopin.

Nimbus also has a Prima Voce series which includes old 78s recordings transferred to compact discs. Of the several Polish vocalists the following are worth noting:

  • NI 7855: Marcella Sembrich (Kochańska) in the “Great Singers in New York. The age of Caruso.” Recordings from 1906-1923.
  • NI 7840/1: Edouard de Reszke is included in this 2 CD. But where is the other brother, the legendary Jean de Reszke?

Other Releases

Philips 454 480-2)H. “Souvenir” features music by Szymanowski, Wieniawski and Rachmaninov & Tchaikovsky. Violinist Akiko Suwanai and pianist Philip Moll present a “flawless recording” – so says Rob Cowan (Gramaphone, October 1998). Szymanowski’s “Myths,” especially the “Dryades et Pan” and the Wieniawski “Souvenir de Moscou” & the Scherzo-Tarantelle in G minor are the most enjoyable.Altarus AIR-CD9094: Godowsky’s Studies on Chopin Etudes & Chopin Waltzes. Carlo Grante, piano. Reviewer Bryce Morrison writes: “This is the third and final volume in Carlo Grante’s recording of the 53 Chopin-Godowsky Etudes, a Herculean task accomplished with aristocratic ease and felicitous musical quality. Disarming to the last, Godowsky denies any wish to gild the lily, saying, the author would strongly condemn any artist for tampering ever so little with such works as those of Chopin.'”

Hyperion (Harmonia Mundi) is scheduled to release Paderewski’s Symphony conducted by Jerzy Maksymiuk in November.

Opening Day Recordings ODR 9312: “Fialkowska plays Chopin.” Canadian pianist Janina Fialkowska plays 24 Etudes, op. 10 & 25.

Look for ODR 9305: “Fialkowska plays Szymanowski.” This received a rave review and highest recommendation from Fanfare magazine. (Fanfare Sep/Oct 1998).

100 Years Ago: Polish Pianists In The U.S.

by Barbara Zakrzewska-Nikiporczyk

In 1898 several famous Polish musicians performed in many American cities. In this series of reports from 100 years ago, we will present musical activities of these musicians, beginning from selected events in the career of Leopold Godowsky (b. in Soshly near Vilnius, 1870, d. in New York, 21 Nov. 1938).

Leopold GODOWSKY gave his first concert in the U.S. in 1884. He was only 14 years old at that time,[1] but he was already a concert-stage veteran: he began concertizing at the age of nine with a tour through Germany and Poland. In 1890 he took the position of a lecturer at the New York College of Music. In 1891 Godowsky married a singer, Frieda Saxe, and received American citizenship. In the following decade he focused on teaching and concertizing. In 1894-95 Godowsky taught at the Broad Street Conservatory, Philadelphia. For five years, 1895-1900, he served as chairman of the piano department at the Chicago Conservatory of Music. During that time he gave many piano recitals at the Conservatory, which brought him great fame. His third recital on January 6, 1898 had the following program:

  • Beethoven: 32 Variations in C minor
  • Schumann: Fantasia C major op.17
  • Chopin: Scherzo B minor op.31
  • Chopin: Impromptu F sharp major, op.36
  • Chopin: Sonata in B-minor op.35
  • Liszt: Pesther Carnival (Rhapsody no. 9)

On January 19, 1898, Godowsky gave the fourth recital at the Chicago Conservatory. The program included:

  • Mendelssohn: Variations serieuses in D minor op.54
  • Bülow-Bach: Fantasia and Fugue in D minor
  • Beethoven: Sonata in D minor op.31 nr 2
  • Schumann: Papillons
  • Chopin: Polonaise-Fantasia in A flat major op.61
  • Chopin: Berceuse op.57
  • Chopin: Barcarolle op.60
  • Chopin: Polonaise in F sharp minor op.44
  • Liszt: Eclogue. At the spring, from “The Years of Pilgrimage”
  • Liszt: Spanish Rhapsody

All of Godowsky’s programs included works by Chopin, accompanied with a variety of other composers, and, sometimes Godowsky’s own compositions. On March 11, 1898, during his 5th recital held at the Chicago Conservatory, the pianist performed his virtuosic work, Moto perpetuo. The full program reads as follows:[2]

  • Grieg: Ballade (Variations on a Norwegian theme)
  • Schubert-Liszt: Ave Maria. Hark, Hark, the Lark
  • Schumann: 12 Symphonic Etudes op.13
  • Chopin: Scherzo in C sharp minor op.39,
  • Chopin: Ballade in A flat major op.47,
  • Chopin: Polonaise in A flat major op.53
  • Godowsky: Moto Perpetuo
  • Liszt: Concert Etude in F minor,
  • Liszt: Concert Etude in D flat major
  • Liszt: Sonata in B minor.

Godowsky’s preference for coupling virtuosic compositions and transcriptions with monumental works may be seen in the following program given during his sixth recital at the Chicago Conservatory, on March 30, 1898. His ability to present so many large-scale works at such short intervals should also be admired. The program included:[3]

Beethoven: Sonata op. 57 in F-minor

  • Schumann: Davidsbuendler (18 pieces) op. 6
  • Brahms: Paganini Variations op. 35
  • Rubinstein: Barcarole nr 5 in A minor
  • Strauss-Tausig: Valse “Man lebt nur Einmal” op. 167
  • Chopin: IV Scherzo in E major op. 54,
  • Chopin: Etudes op. 25 nr 1-3 ,
  • Chopin: Ballade in G minor op. 23
  • Wagner-Bülow: Quintet from the 3rd act of Meistersingers
  • Wagner-Liszt: Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde
  • Liszt: Two Concert Etudes – Gnomenreigen and Waldesrauschen
  • Weber-Tausig: Invitation to Dance

During 1898 in Chicago Godowsky met the violinist, Henri Marteau. The musicians began to play together, just for the pleasure of music-making. They worked on the Schuman’s Violin Sonatas op. 105 and op. 121 as well as Brahms’s Violin Sonata in C-minor op. 113. [4] These works, however were not featured during the two subsequent Chicago recitals of Godowsky. During the seventh recital of the year, on May 3, 1898, Godowsky played: [5]

  • Schumann: Sonata in G-minor op. 22
  • Brahms: 25 Variations and Fugues on the Theme of Händel, op. 24
  • Wagner: Siegfried and the Rhine Daughters, from Die Götterdämmerung, arr. Joseph Rubinstein.
  • Chopin: Impromptu in G flat major op.51,
  • Chopin: Prelude in A flat major op.28 nr 17,
  • Chopin: Etudes in E flat major op.10 nr 11, E flat minor op.25 nr 6, C major op.10 nr 1,
  • Chopin-Godowsky: Etude in G flat major op.10 nr 5 (for the left hand)Chopin: Sonata in B minor op. 58
  • Glazunow: Etude At night (etude)
  • Godowsky: Concert paraphrase of Chopin’s Walz in E flat major op.18
  • Liszt: Tarantella Venezia e Napoli

Recitals no. 7 and 8 included music composed or transcribed by Godowsky. On May 31, 1898, during his 8th recital, the pianist performed:

  • Mendelssohn: Prelude and Fugue in E-minor op.35 nr 1
  • Brahms: Paganini Variations op.35
  • Schumann: Kreisleriana op.16
  • Godowsky: Dämmerungsbilder in E flat major, No 1
  • Godowsky: Etude in E flat major,
  • Godowsky: Scherzino in C-minor No 1,
  • Godowsky: Arabesque
  • Godowsky: Barcarolle – Valse
  • Liszt: Two Legends: I. St. Paul, II. St. Francis of Asisi
  • Rosenthal: Etude on a Theme of Chopin’s Waltz
  • Wagner-Liszt: Ouverture to Tannhauser

In July 1898 W.S.B.Mathews described his impressions from Godowsky’s interpretations of Brahms piano pieces during a concert that also took place in Chicago. At that time the pianist played Scherzo in E flat minor, Händel’s Variations, Paganini’s variations, ballads and intermezzos.[6] In October the same writer praised Godowsky’s own compositions and pointed out about the necessity of their publication. Simultaneously Godowsky began to be active in the Chicago Manuscript Society, which made plans to publish his music.[7] During the October 7th, 1989 recital held in the Chicago Auditorium Recital Hall Godowsky performed three sonatas for violin and piano with with the violinist Theodore Spiering: Sonata in G major op. 78 by Johann Brahms, Sonata in F majaor op. 8 by Edward Grieg, and Cesar Frank’s celebrated Sonata in A major.[8] On November 4, the second recital of the same pair of musicians (at the University Hall, Chicago) included Brahms’s Sonata in D-minor op.108, Berger’s Sonata in F-major op. 29, and Grieg’s Sonata in G-major op. 13. [9]

The concertizing activities did not end with these two chamber recitals. In December 1898 Godowsky gave a series of solo piano recitals in Baltimore, Boston and Chicago with the following program:

  • Schumann: Carnaval
  • Liszt: Eclogue, At the spring, Etude f-minor
  • Brahms-Paganini: Variations
  • Chopin: Sonata in B-minor op.58
  • Godowsky: Moto Perpetuo,
  • Godowsky: Capriccio,
  • Godowsky: Valse Idylle,
  • Godowsky: Badinage,
  • Godowsky: Concert Paraphrase of a Waltz by Chopin op.18
  • Wagner-Liszt: Ouverture to Tannhäuser

Also in December, the virtuoso pianist performed Saint-Saens’s Concerto in G minor in New York and in St. Louis (with Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paur).[10] Godowsky’s concerts received good reviews, but despite these American successes he decided to return to Europe in 1900, settling first in Berlin, and then in Vienna (since 1909). [11]


[1]. Błaszczyk, Leon Tadeusz: “Polish contribution to the musical life of America” In: Poles in America, Stevens Point, 1978, p.582. [Back]

[2]. Mathews, W.S.B.: “The Godowsky Recitals.” Music. 14, July 1898, p.314-319. [Back]

[3]. Report in Music vol. 14, May 1898, p.90, and July 1898, p.314-319. [Back]

[4]. Reported in Music vol. 13, April 1898, p. 723-725. [Back]

[5]. W.S.B.Mathews: “The Godowsky recitals.” In Music Vol.14, July 1898, p.314-319.[Back]

[6]. Mathews’s report in Music vol.14, July 1898, p. 300.[Back]

[7]. Mathews’s report in Music, vol.14, October 1898, p. 620-622. [Back]

[8]. Mathews’s report in Music vol. 15, November 1898, p.83-84. [Back]

[9]. Reported in Music vol.15, December 1898, p. 221-222. [Back]

[10]. Reported in Music vol.15, December 1898, p.221-222. [Back]

[11]. Dr. Zakrzewska’s report will be continued in the subsequent newsletters [ed.].[Back]


Born this month:

  • 3 October 1882 – Karol SZYMANOWSKI, composer, pianist, (d. 29 March 1937)
  • 3 October 1923 – Stanisław SKROWACZEWSKI, composer and conductor
  • 4 October 1910 – Eugenia UMIŃSKA, violinist
  • 9 October 1924 – Regina SMENDZIANKA, pianist
  • 10 October 1910 – Henryk SWOLKIEŃ, music critic, composer
  • 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)
  • 25 October 1868 – Michał ŚWIERZYŃSKI, composer, conductor (d. 30 June 1957)
  • 30 October 1904 – Alfred GRADSTEIN, composer, activist (d. 29 September 1954)


Died this month:

  • 1 October 1861 – Tekla Justyna KRZYŻANOWSKA, 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 1810)
  • 17 October 1938 – Aleksander MICHAŁOWSKI, pinaist, composer, Tausig’s student (b. 5 May 1851)
  • 18 October 1962 – Maria SZCZEPAŃSKA, musicologist (b. 13 May 1902)
  • 21 October 1837 – Michał Jozef 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 CHYBIŃSKI, musicologist (b. 29 April 1880)