Polish Music Center Newsletter Vol. 7, no. 4
Bokun And American Premieres
“Rare and exhilarating” best describes “Polish Strings: 20th Century Orchestral Classics,” the program conceived and directed by Jan Jakub (“Kuba”) Bokun, a young musician from Poland working on his Master’s Degree in Music at USC. Rare, because it was probably the first time these musical works by four Polish composers (Twardowski, Gorecki, Baird and Kilar) were heard in a “live performance” here in California. Of these four, I doubt that any music by Twardowski had ever been performed in California. Yes, Gorecki was here in 1997 leading the USC student symphony orchestra in the historic rendition of his world famous Third Symphony, but this was “Three Pieces in the Old Style” inspired by early and Renaissance Polish music. Tadeusz Baird’s “Divertimento” had been performed by the USC Contemporary Music Ensemble in 1997, but this time it was “Colas Breugnon” with a flute solo. Kilar’s “Krzesany” had been performed at the Ambassador College Auditorium a few years ago, but I had never heard his “Orawa.”All four of these works were new and unknown works heard for the first time by the audience, who much to their surprise, not only “liked” but “enjoyed” what they heard; as was evidenced by the long and enthusiastic applause after each work; ending in a standing ovation for the young conductor and his talented string ensemble.
It was refreshing for me to witness this event. So different from the Polish orchestras and artists who come to the U.S. to perform the usual Schubert-Tchaikovsky repertoire, which prompted a headline in Chicago a few years ago: “Polish Orchestra Very Polished, Not Very Polish!”
In the opening work, “Triptych of the Virgin Mary” by Romuald Twardowski, the wonderful acoustics of the United University Church on the USC campus definitely showed off the mature and professional playing of the sixteen hand-picked players. Written in 1973 the composition is made up of five parts: Manger in Bethlehem, Dance I, The Entombment, Dance II and Resurrection and its music reverberated in a profoundly spiritual manner. This continued in the second number by Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki, “Three Pieces in the Old Style,” which according to the excellent program notes written by Maja Trochimczyk (formerly Maria Anna Harley) and Kuba Bokun was composed in 1963 before the famous Third Symphony and had been inspired by Gorecki’s studies of medieval and renaissance Polish music.
The beauty of sound was continued in Tadeusz Baird’s “Colas Breugnon” a splendid example of the “musical lyricism” of which he was the “most typical proponent after Chopin and Karlowicz.” Baird was one of the founders of the “Warsaw Autumn” International Contemporary Music Festival and was widely known as a “twentieth-century romantic.” The “melodic lines are played by the more expressive solo instruments in an emotionally moving way” and this was the case in this work which featured Adrianna Lis on the flute.
The concert was particularly exhilarating in the last number, “Orawa” by Wojciech Kilar (known in Poland for his many beautiful film scores and in Hollywood as the composer for Coppola’s film, “Dracula”). The title “Orawa” “refers to the Podhale sub-region in southern Poland. Orawa is musical painting of the sheer forces of nature and human reflection on it. The wide melodic phrases contrast with short, repeated motives of folk origin (dances of the Tatra highlanders).” As I listened to the music I could clearly see in my mind the dancing figure of the late Zbigniew Szumanski when he was in his hey-day with our local Krakusy group of which he was a founder.
Kuba Bokun has learned his lessons well from his teachers at USC, Larry Livingston and John Barnett. He led the Polish Strings in a professional manner and they followed his beat precisely, resulting in a solid ensemble tone. His posture and gestures reminded me a little of the L.A. Philharmonic’s young director Esa Pekka Salonen. In addition to his conducting, Bokun is also an incredible clarinet player and has already made a recording that features contemporary clarinet pieces, which he selected and I am happy to say that he included Polish composers in this disc. This Koch Classic CD was released in 1999 and was greeted with critical acclaim from the American Clarinet Society and others. He has a second album, “Duo Guitarinet” which has been nominated for the Polish Music Industry Award 2000. I would say this young man is on the right track.
The program was made possible through financial help from the Polish Consulate in Los Angeles, Ars Musica Poloniae, the Polish University Club and the Helena Modjeska Polish Arts & Cultural Club. Seen in the audience: the Honorable Consul General Krzysztof Kasprzyk, Consul Boleslaw Meluch with his wife; Ms. Jolanta Zych, president of the Modjeska Club; Diane Wilk Burch, president of Ars Musica Poloniae; Prof. & Mrs. Paul Knoll (Dr. Knoll is on the board of the Polish Institute of Arts & Sciences in New York); Prof. & Mrs. Kazimierz Kowalski; Prof. Krzysztof Pilch and Dr. Marianna Chodorowska, Dr. Barbara Zakrzewska and Dr. Kleo Rundzio; artist Andrzej Kolodziej and charming wife; Mr. Demidedzki; Dr. Olgierd Klejnot, past president of the Polish University Club, Hanka Gutkowska and Christine Hertzlich; and presidential florist, Stanley Kersten who brought and donated two beautiful bouquets of red roses for the conductor and soloist.
This concert will long remain in my memory and I believe everyone in the Polish American community and especially the younger generation, should hear and see this program.
We will have a chance to hear it, since it was recorded to represent the Polish Music Center at the Streaming Media Lab web-site of the USC Thornton School of Music and will be issued as a limited-edition CD. Please call in your reservations for a copy to Maja Trochimczyk at 213-740-9369 or by e-mail to email@example.com. I truly believe this program should be repeated as soon as possible, so that a larger part of Polonia could come and enjoy it. It will be an awakening! [Wanda Wilk]
Polish Festival In Santa Barbara
APRIL 25-29, UC SANTA BARBARA – Department of Music presents ‘IN SOLIDARITY’ New Music from Poland and America with Guest Composers-in-Residence Zygmunt KRAUZE, Wlodzimierz KOTOŃSKI, and Marta PTASZYŃSKA
Wednesday, April 25, Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall, 8 p.m.
CONCERT I: POLISH MUSIC OF THE XXth CENTURY
Multiple award-winning pianist and composer Zygmunt Krauze, provides an introductory framework for our Festival in this pianistic tour of the twentieth century’s major Polish composers for the keyboard. Selections range from Szymanowski’s “Prelude” of 1905 to a recent work by our distinguished guest , Zygmunt Krauze. Filling in the timeline are important pieces by Lutoslawski, Dobrowolski, Serocki, Sikorski and Schaffer.
Thursday, April 26, Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall, 8 p.m
CONCERT II: POLAND AND THE NEW WORLD
This diverse program spotlights musical creativity from three distinct sources: Polish residents of the U.s., Polish-Americans, and UCSB’s own bright young stars. Featured composers include Marta Ptaszynska, Frederic Rzewski, Robert Muczynski, Leslie A. Hogan, Wlodzimierz Kotonski, Chris Honett and Yuval Avnur.
Friday, April 27, Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall, 7 p.m
CONCERT III: JAKUB OMSKY: A SPIRITUAL GIFT
Santa Barbara’s sensational young cellist from Poland offers a program of solo and accompanied repertory with twin accents on Polish authorship and world spirituality. This intriguing concert includes Penderecki’s “Per Slava,” written for Rostropovich, Lutoslawski’s “Sacher Variations” and Marta Ptaszynska’s “Moon Flowers,” along with music by Grazyna Bacewicz, Jeremy Haladyna (of Polish Goral descent), and Seymour Barab, plus cross-cultural music by Omsky himself.
Saturday, April 28, Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall, 8 p.m
CONCERT IV: ZYGMUNT KRAUZE: CHAMBER MUSIC
Zygmunt Krauze is featured as composer and pianist, joining the ECM in a fascinating tour of his formally innovative chamber music, which neatly bridges the gulf between those two giant “-isms,” Modernism and Postmodernism. We will hear Krauze’s “Quatuor pour la naissance” for mixed quartet, his “Piano Quintet,” his hands-on outing for a single keyboard, “One Piano Eight Hands,” plus “Soundscape,” for electronic tape and an amazing assortment of bells, glasses, zithers, harmonicas, and more.
Sunday, April 29, Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall, 3 p.m.
CONCERT IV: SYMPOSIUM-CONCERT: NEW INTERPRETATIONS OF FOLK, SPIRITUAL and NATIONAL in 20th-CENTURY POLISH MUSIC
Timothy Cooley, director; Sven Spieker, moderator Prominent composers and ethnographers reflect on the ways folk music, spiritual concerns and Polish nationalism influenced Polish music in the 20th century. Performances illustrate and enhance the panel discussion, including music by panelist Wlodimierz Kotonski, art music based on folk themes, and demonstrations of the ethnic (Gorale) music of Poland’s Zakopane region, with ensemble directed by Tim Cooley.
Funding sources for New Music Festival:
- UCSB’s Corwin Fund
- The Kosciuszko Foundation
- The Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, UCSB
- The Pepper Tree Inn
- The College of Creative Studies Resident Composers Program
- The American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP)
Kilar’s Missa Pro Pace
Wojciech Kilar was commissioned to write “Missa pro pace” for the Centennial celebration of the National Philharmonic in Warsaw. The National Polish Radio & TV Symphony Orchestra of Katowice gave the Silesian premiere at the acoustically famous church of St. Peter & Paul. Antoni Wit led the Choir of Polish Radio in Krakow and soloists Izabella Klosinska, Jadwiga Rappe, Adam Zdunikowski, Piotr Nowacki and organist Andrzej Chorosinski.
Polish pianist, Karol Radziwonowicz, who was first in recording all of Paderewski’s piano works, was the featured pianist (for the second time) at the annual Paderewski Festival in Los Robles, CA March 24 & 25th. Mrs. Wanda Tomczykowska, president of the Polish Arts Foundation of San Francisco also arranged for him to perform in concerts commemorating the great pianist, Maestro Ignacy Jan Paderewski, in San Jose on 30 Mar and in San Francisco on 1 Apr (see Calendar).
Polish Singers Alliance Convention In May
The Polish Singers Alliance of America, founded in 1889 and “home base” to as many as 329 Polonia choruses over the years, will stage its 46th International Convention during a “Choral Resort Mini-Vacation” in Johnstown PA over the Memorial Day weekend.Delegates from singing societies in the United States and Canada will meet in business sessions May 24th and 25th at the Living and Learning Center of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. The triennial convention deliberates about developments in the PSAA, considers constitutional changes, and elects new officers to guide the organization for the next three years.
On Saturday, May 26th at 2pm, competition will be held among male, female and mixed choruses, with the coveted Cardinal Hlond Trophy awarded every three years to that group winning the highest point total from five judges.
Following the Convention Mass at 5pm, there will be a Dinner and Grand Ball for singers, delegates and guests at 7pm. A highlight of the Convention will be the personal appearance of Jozef Swider, one of the foremost composers of choral music in Europe, whose works will be featured during the concert, Mass and competition.
On Sunday, May 27th, there will be a Grand Brunch for the hundreds of singers, guests and delegates at 9am and, following rehearsals, a Gala Concert presented at 3pm at the new Pasquerilla Center for the Performing Arts
The high point of the convention is the Awards Banquet at 7pm, a festive, song-filled event at which contest results are given, the names of those elected to the distinguished office of Honorary Member of the PSAA are announced.
On Memorial Day Monday, after sightseeing and goodbyes, singers and guests will leave Johnstown for their homes in Western New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Syracuse, Chicago, Canada, metropolitan New York City — wherever are found singers who uphold Polish culture in choral music and good fellowship.
Members of several WNY choruses will participate in the business and musical portions of the convention. A charter bus will take singers and friends from Buffalo to Johnstown the morning of Saturday, May 26th, and return to Buffalo Monday, 28th, arriving at 7pm.
The package price for guests (round trip coach, choral contest, Dinner and Grand Ball, Sunday Grand Brunch, Gala Concert, Awards Banquet, twin-bedded air-conditioned room with cable TV, private shower, telephone, microwave/refrigerator unit; driver gratuity and sightseeing) is a modest $240 per person.
For information about the convention, make contact with Joan Ludwig in Johnstown PA (814-536-7209) e-mail JLLpole@aol.com ; or PSAA Secretary Barbara Blyskal in Staten Island NY (718-720-6089) e-mail EBBlyskal@aol.com .
Guests interested in the bus excursion from Buffalo should make contact with Dan Kij (716-822-5258) e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . Reservations are limited.
Roman Maciejewski’s Premiere
The Helena Modjeska Polish Arts and Culture Club of Los Angeles invited its members and their guests to an evening dedicated to the music and life of Roman Maciejewski, a Polish composer who spent a considerable part of his life in California. The program of this evening included a lecture by Maja Trochimczyk, film fragments from a TV film realized by Stefan Szlachtycz, and the American premiere of Maciejewski’s String Trio “Matinata” composed in 1948 and performed by USC String Trio directed by excellent cellist, Elisabeth Means. Maciejewski’s music is unique in style and the Polish Music Center proudly presented this introduction to the art of one of Poland’s greatest 20th-century composers. The evening, held on Saturday, 17 March 2001 at 7 p.m. was complemented by an informal conversation with prominent members of the Polish American community residing in California who knew Maciejewski during his time here. Dr. Olgierd Klejnot brought from his personal archives programs of Maciejewski’s concerts in L.A. that he helped organize in his capacity as the president of the Polish University Club. Mr. Stefan WEnta, dancer and choreographer had less formal memories to share. The evening was so enthusiastically received that an idea of producing a recording of Maciejewski’s chamber music (the trio, violin sonata and some mazurkas) later this year. We will keep our reader posted about the second Maciejewski program and the CD. More information about the concert will soon be available at: www.modjeska.org
Did You Know?
Did you know that there is an arrangement of the Bach “Goldberg Variations” for flute, oboe, English Horn and small string orchestra? It was transcribed by the late Polish composer Jozef Koffler and performed recently at an all-Bach program by the Amadeus Chamber Orhcestra of Polish Radio in Warsaw.
Did you know that pianist Andrzej Anweiler is also a composer? His Concertino for piano and chamber orchestra was premiered in February by the Connecticut Virtuosi in Connecticut, where he lives. According to an interview given to Roman Markowicz of Nowy Dziennik, Anweiler studied composition at the Hartt School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. Encouraged by his Polish father he also studied in Poland with pianist Regina Smedzianka of the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. He is presently engrossed in chamber music performing on a regular basis with the New York Chamber Ensemble, a string quartet, headquartered in Hartford, Conn.
Search For Noskowski And Żeleński
The Polish Music Center receives a variety of requests for information. Reprinted below (with the author’s permission) is a copy of the letter from Mr. Keyvan Rafii, a music lover of great knowledge and broad interests. We could not answer his question fully, since wer\ are puzzled by it ourselves. Why Polish musicians, music industry and music public do not show more interest in Polish music of the 19th-century (beyond Chopin and Moniuszko)? Perhaps someone would like to provide an answer. We invite Polish scholars, musicians, publishers (PWM), and recording companies to respond to this open letter. [MT]
I have been a classical record collector since 1971, when I was 14. The question that I have pertains chiefly to two Polish composers of the 19th century: Zygmunt Noskowski and Władysław Żelenski. I first came into contact with these two figures’ music when I was in college and discovered an old Muza recording (SXL 0259) featuring shorter orchestral pieces by them. I was entranced by this disk, and when I read in Grove’s that both of them had produced a considerable amount of orchestral music, I became confused as to why only these few overtures have ever been recorded. In particular, I am exceptionally intrigued by the fact that Noskowski and Żeleński wrote a number of symphonies, and I have waited for years to see if some enterprising company would ever record them. Up to now I have had no luck in finding any reference to any recording of their symphonies, although I did recently purchase an excellent new CD with Grzegorz Nowak conducting Polish symphonic works. Is there no interest whatever among musicians and scholars in Poland in the symphonies of Noskowski or Żeleński (or for that matter, other Polish composers of the 19th century)? What I have heard by these two men, five shorter orchestral works and their respective piano quartets, leads me to think that their symphonies must be at the very least worth an occasional hearing. The orchestral pieces I’ve heard, which include Noskowski’s “Morskie Oko” and “Step”, as well as Żeleński’s overture “In the Tatras” clearly demonstrate their skill in writing for the orchestra. The piano quartets, both very beautiful, also demonstrate their ability to sustain musical interest in the larger classical forms. Put these two skills together and you’ve potentially got the makings of a real symphonist.
Can you tell me anything about the level of interest in Poland in reviving the works of Noskowski and Żeleński? Granted that they are probably not on a level with the symphonies of Brahms, Dvorak or Tchaikovsky, but I would bet good money they compare favorably to the genuinely attractive symphonies of Max Bruch, Zdenek Fibich, Hubert Parry, Charles Stanford, and the Danish composers, Niels Wilhelm Gade and J.P.E. Hartmann.
Thank you for any information you can provide me on this subject.
Sincerely, Keyvan Rafii
Gondola Lugubre For Prima Aprilis
The Wrocław chapter of the Polish Composers’ Union (ZKP) and the Academy of Music in Wrocław organized a concert held on Sunday, 1 April 2001 at the Academy of Music. The concert, entitled “Gondola Lugubre, or Funny and Scary” included pieces exploring the various dimensions of the macabre grotesque and composed by Katarzyna Arnhold, Ryszard Gabrys, Anestis Logothetis, Ryszard Klisowski, Leszek Wislocki, and Agata Zubel. The program also featured anonymous compositions for a variety of instruments. The motto of the concert stated that the “black is the deepest shade of humor.” The present included percussion and electronics, singing and speaking voices, bewitched pianists, a nostalgic harpsichordist, the spirit of Igor Fyodorovich (Stravinsky), demonic orators, and a lady who killed a lord.
Piotr Lachert’s String Quartet Premiered
The American premiere of Piotr Lachert’s STring Quartet no. 3 will take place on 16 April 2001, at 8 p.m., at the Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall. The concert will be repeated on 23 April in Tenafly, NJ. The piece will be performed by Waterville Ensmbles, a chamber group consisting of artists who participated in summer seasons at the Waterwille Valley Music Center in New Hampshire. The ensembles were organized by Polish violinist, Hanna Lachert, who has served as the artistic director of the series for the past six years. The program also includes works by Stich and Borodin. The quartet will be played by Hanna Lachert, Violin; Yuval Waldman, Violin; Irene Breslaw, Viola; Dorothy Lawson, Cello. It belongs to a series organized by MidAmerica Productions. Lachert’s bio is available on his page at: http://piotrlachert.interfree.it. The composer runs a music site: http://www.kamerton.com. Hanna Lachert has a page as a part of this site: http://www.kamerton.com/ospiti/solisti/HannaLachert.htm.
MidAmerica Productions inaugurated its chamber music series in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in 1989 with a concert by soprano Jean Jordan. Since then, MidAmerica has presented more than 100 soloists and chamber ensembles at Weill Recital Hall, including performances by numerous members of the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as by MidAmerica’s resident ensemble, Elysium. During the 2000-2001 season, MidAmerica’s Weill Recital Hall Series encompasses 23 concerts by such well-known artists as the American Chamber Ensemble, Arman Trio, Mark Crayton and James Janssen, Huntington Brass Quintet, Russian Chamber Chorus of New York, Quattro Mani, Eleonor Bindman-Auer, Duo Paganini, the Amoroso Trio, Charles and Christopher Rex, Elysium 2001, the Filarmonia Quartet, Verdehr Trio, and Helen Armstrong. For more information about the concert see: http://www.midamerica-music.com/weill_current.htm
A Girl From Górecki’s Third
Bob Bibby has written a play LENA, based on Helena Blazusiakowna’s spell in the Palace prison in Zakopane. As the playwright reports, Helena – whose inscription on a wall of the Gestapo prison in Zakopane constitutes the text for the second movement of Gorecki’s Symphony no. 3 (“Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”), survived the war, married, had children, and lived a quiet and happy life in her home town. The play was finally performed last week at a little theatre in Bridgnorth, Shropshire. Mr. Bibby writes:
We played for four nights and had reasonable audiences, not bad for a brand new play about an unknown Polish woman from what is now a long time ago to many people. We were particularly pleased that a good number of our local Polish communities were able to come and see the production. As a result, we have already had two invitations to perform LENA elsewhere, one of which is a large Polish festival in the south of England this summer. Our ultimate aim is to perform it in Zakopane itself. The production was not without problems as the actress we had worked with for over a year suddenly withdrew in January and we had to replace her with two 17 year old young actresses sharing the role. They were absolutely stupendous and, despite only having five weeks to learn their lines, were word-perfect throughout the week. The play requires the actress to be on stage throughout, as it is written as a one-woman show with the Lena character moving in her imagination from her cell back and forth to her home town Szczawnika, to Zakopane and to the chalet in the hills where she was captured. It’s not easy for anyone to command the stage for almost an hour but these two similar-looking young ladies each managed to do just that. They were rightly very pleased afterwards because they are both still studying at school and hope to go into acting careers subsequently.
Praise For Namysłowski
In a recent mailing we received a number of citations praising the talents of Zbigniew Namysłowski, one of Polish most prominent jazz performers. For more information contact email@example.com. Here is a selection of quotes:
- Willis Connover: “When I first visited Poland, I was quite unprepared to hear Polish musicians at so high level. Namyslowski was clearly the best. International voting has proved that audiences in Europe recognize the best Polish musician as among the best anywhere in the world. He honors 3 traditions, of jazz, of Polish, of himself. Anyone who misses Namyslowski is missing a unique source of creativity in 20th century. Namyslowski is a giant!”
- Roger Cotteral (JAZZ FORUM): ” …A few years ago I got depressed and brooded on whether jazz had any future at all. My encounter with Namyslowski group and their music, brought home to me that there was no reason for anxiety.”
- Ola Sigvardson (ARBETET, Norway): ” The American supergroup “The Crusaders” failed to be the main attraction of the Kristianstad JazzFest. The appearance of Namyslowski group highlighted the concert. There is no doubt that he is one of the leading saxophonists in the world today.”
- Kazimierz Czyż (JAZZ FORUM): “There is something in his music that would indicate a multi source inspiration. Though by no means an ordinary blend: pure jazz, rock, blues, Polish folklore, and the Balkan and Indian elements.”
- Jonny Olson (WERMLANDS TIDNINGEX): “The system of musical education in Eastern Europe produces excellent musicians. Namyslowski and his group have confirmed this opinion. All the members of this formation are very good instrumentalists whose technique is truly professional. (…) Namyslowski himself is a remarkable saxophonist: daring, intensive and very active. He keeps his audience spell bound with the clear and precise sound on his alto and sopranino saxes. Namyslowski has appeared in Sweden many times before so I knew I would listen to some really high-class music.”
New Publications & Books
Polish Music History Series: New Book
“After Chopin: Essays in Polish Music” edited by Maja Trochimczyk is the newest volume in the Polish Music History Series and came out in March. The book (ISBN 0-916545-059, 333 pages, 30$) is listed as published in 2000 by the Polish Music Center at USC (change of publisher from the Friends of Polish Music). It may be ordered from PMC or from the Pendragon Press.
Home Site: Pendragon Press
P.O. box 190;
Hillsdale, NY 12529-5839
Tel.: (518) 825-6100
Fax.: (518) 325-6102
ORDER FROM: firstname.lastname@example.org
The book consists of the following chapters:
- Maja TROCHIMCZYK: Introduction: Music for the Nation or the Nation for Music? (1-13).
- Maria KONOPNICKA: “For the Tomb of Chopin” (poem); Trans. Maja Trochimczyk (14).
- PART I: 100 YEARS OF DEFINING CHOPIN
1. Władysław ŻELEŃSKI: “On the 50th Anniversary of Chopin’s Death” (17-22) Trans. Małgorzata Szyszkowska and Brian Harlan.
2. Zygmunt NOSKOWSKI: “The Essence of Chopin’s Works” (23-46) Trans. Maja Trochimczyk and Anne Desler.
3. Karol SZYMANOWSKI: “Fryderyk Chopin” (47-62) Trans. Maria Pilatowicz.
4. Staniław NIEWIADOMSKI: “Fryderyk Chopin and Poland” (63-70) Trans. Małgorzata Szyszkowska and Brian Harlan.
5. Stanisław NIEWIADOMSKI: “Spelling Identity: Ch or Sz?” (71-76) Trans. Ma gorzata Szyszkowska and Brian Harlan.
6. Mateusz GLIŃSKI: “Is There a Chopin Tradition?” (77-82) Trans. Maja Trochimczyk and Anne Desler.
7. Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI: “Back to Chopin” (83-88) Trans. Maja Trochimczyk.
- Part II: ESSAYS ON POLISH MUSIC (WILK PRIZES)
8. Maja TROCHIMCZYK: “At Home with Phenomenology: Roman Ingarden’sWork of Music Revisited” (91-110).
9. Stephen C. DOWNES: “Revitilizing Sonata Form: Structure and Climax in Szymanowski’s Op. 21” (111-142).
10. Richard ZIELINSKI: “Sources and Materials in Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater” (143-176).
11. Michael L. KLEIN: “Lutosławski’s Partita for Violin and Piano: A New Perspective on His Late Music” (177-202).
- Part III: MUSIC AND NATIONAL IDENTITY
12. Zofia HELMAN: “The Dilemma of Polish Music in the 20th Century: National Style or Universal Values” (205-242). Trans. Joanna Niżyńska and Peter J. Schertz.
13. Timothy J. COOLEY: “Constructing an ‘Authentic’ Folk Music of the Polish Tatras” (243-262).
14. Maja TROCHIMCZYK: “Sacred/Secular Constructs of National Identity: A Convoluted History of Polish Anthems” (263-294).
- APPENDIX: Brian HARLAN: “Wilk Prizes for Research in Polish Music” (297-306).
Silesian String Quartet
Silesian String Quartet, one of the best Polish chamber ensembles now has a web site with its history, repertoire, and other information. The group has been active for the past 23 years and is highly regarded both in concert and on recordings. Their site may be visited at: www.silesian-quartet.art.pl.
Lachert’s Music Online
Piotr Lachert, Polish composer based in Italy, has a piece of music posted on a very unusual site: Vitaminic The piece, “Kropelki” appears in the Contemporary section. You can listen to and download the music at this address: http://stage.vitaminic.com/lachert_piotr/ For more information about Lachert himself visit his page at: http://piotrlachert.interfree.it (e-mail: email@example.com).
Chopin Facsimile Editions
If you are interested in Chopin’s facsimiles editions (pieces and letters), you are invited to www.romega.portnet.pl. The site contains a comprehensive survey of available editions.
Choral Music In New York
www.van.org is a new website of the Vocal Area Network Choral Music in the New York area). Over 140 groups are listed with links to their web-sites. Look for “Aria Chorus” #303 of the Polish Singers Alliance of America from Wallington, N.J. Dayle Vander Sande is the choral director. They have a new CD of Polish Christmas carols that you may want to have.
Women In Music Site In England
www.womeninmusic.org.uk is a new web-site launched in England to coincide with International Women’s Day in March.
PMC And The European Internet Network
Our website is currently included in the Poland search directory published by the European Internet Network (EIN). EIN has recently upgraded its services with faster loading pages, improved searching, top sites directory, classifieds, discussion boards, e-mail news services and daily headline news. The listing is FREE and the directory is designed to drive traffic to our website. Visit and search at: http://www.europeaninternet.com/poland/search
Competitions and Awards
III Lutosławski Cello Competition
Winners of the III Lutoslawski International Cello Competition were: I Bartosz Koziak (Poland), II Beatrice Reibel (France) III Deanna Talens (U.S.). Piotr Bylica (Poland) won a prize for best performance of the Sacher Variations and Aureliene Brauna (France) for best interpretation of Grave.
Award For Kilar
Along with sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz and poet Father Jan Twardowski, Wojciech Kilar received the Top Awards from the Wielka Fundacja Kultury in Warsaw.
Competition For Essays About Opera
The scholarly paper for the seventh National Opera Association competition should explore an operatic subject, present significant research and conclusions, and include a bibliography citing at least ten different sources. The paper should be typewritten, double-spaced, and no more than three thousand words in length. The title of the paper and the name of the author should be given on a detachable title page. The author’s name must not appear on subsequent pages.
The submission must be accompanied by a statement that the paper is not under copyright by any party other than the author and that it has not been previously published. Papers that have been presented orally are eligible as long as they have not been printed in any proceedings. Authors wishing their papers returned should included a stamped, self-addressed envelope with each submission. Submit papers and any inquiries about the competition to Dr. Robert Hansen, National Opera Association, PO Box 60869, Canyon, TX 79016-0869. email–firstname.lastname@example.org Submission may be by U.S. mail or email attachment.
The winning author or authors will be invited to read each paper at the annual convention during February, 2002, at Philadelphia, PA. The Leland Fox Scholarly Travel Stipend of $500 will be awarded to the reader of a winning paper at the annual convention. The paper or papers also will be published in “The Opera Journal.” Copies of papers not selected, accompanied by the committee’s critiques, will be forwarded to the editor of the journal for possible consideration for publication. Deadline for the submission of scholarly papers: June 1, 2001. Author notification: after September 1, 2001.
Calendar Of Events
APR 1: Karol Radziwonowicz, piano. Recital in celebration of the International Paderewski Year sponsored by the Polish Arts Club of San Francisco. Music by Chopin, Liszt, Mozart, Paderewski and Schubert. Century Club of California. 1355 Franklin St. 2:00 p.m. $22, $18, $12 students & seniors. (415) 474-7070.www.polishculture.org
APR 5-7: Chopin Piano Competition. Kosciuszko Foundation. 15 East 65th St. New York. www.kosciuszkofoundation.org
APR 9: Penderecki String Quartet. Music by Gorecki, Bartok, Brahms, Crumb, Mozejko & Sceli. Bing Theatre. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. 8:00 p.m. $15/$10 members, seniors/$5 students. (323) 857-6000.www.lacma.org
APR 21: Ewa Izykowska, sop. Octavio Vasquez, piano. Favorite diva of Penderecki’s operas performs in a recital at the Polish Consulate House in NY city. 233 Madison Ave. $15/$10 students & seniors. (212) 931-6389. www.nydai.org
APR 29: “Remembrances. Reflections on the Holocaust.” World premiere of Wladyslaw Szpilman’s “Piano Concerto.” Arthur Abadi, piano. Los Angeles Jewish Orchestra. Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd. Encino. $25, $36, $45. (818) 753-6681. Noreen Green, artistic director.
APR 29: Kosciuszko Foundation Chamber Series. Quartet of the Americas. 3:00 p.m.
8th Choral Meeting In Kalisz
St. Joseph Basilica in Kalisz was the site of the VIII Wielkopolska Choral Meeting Canticum Sacrum; the festival included the participation of Warsaw’s Archdiocesan Cathedral Boychoir Cantores Minores with its director and founder Joseph Herter. The Kalisz festival, first organized in 1994, by the Kalisz Choral Society Echo and the local chapter of the Polish Union of Choruses and Orchestras, is held annually on the weekend closest to March 19, the feast of St. Joseph, patron of both the city and diocese of Kalisz.
On Saturday, March 17, eight choirs from the cities of Kalisz, Poznan, Lodz, Ostrowa Wielkopolska, Kolo, Warsaw – and giving the choral weekend an international touch – from Mohylew, Belarus, gathered in the Kalisz basilica to give homage to St. Joseph. Each participating ensemble was expected to perform at least one work dedicated to the festival’s patron. Cantores Minores’ selections included a setting of the Mass ordinary Missa in honorem Sancti Josephi by the 20th cent. Belgian composer Flor Peeters and a motet Joseph fili David (Joseph, Son of David) by the 19th cent. German composer Franz Lachner. On Sunday, March 18, each choir sang for Mass followed by a short concert in one of the churches in Kalisz. Back in Warsaw on Monday, March 19, the actual St. Joseph Feast Day, Cantores Minores sang for Mass at six o’clock in the evening at Holy Cross Church on ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 3.
Polish Music Across the U.S.
In Florida: The Florida Philharmonic conducted by John Neschling featured Igor Gruppman in Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Sergio Tiempo performed Chopin’s Piano Concerto with the Florida West Coast Symphony.
In Dallas, Texas: Yan Pascal Tortelier, conducted the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in Lutoslawski’s “Concerto for Orchestra” on March 29-31 at the Meyerson Symphony Center. Pianist Lang Lang also played Grieg’s Piano Concerto.
In New York: Andrew Russo, winner of the 1996 Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Compettition, gave a recital at the Kosciuszko Foudnation home.
In Philadelphia: The annual Chopin concert sponsored by the Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia featured pianist Nina Kuzma- Sapiejewska and soprano Ewa Izykowska.
In Connecticut: Music of Chopin and Wieniawski featured in a performance by the Connecticut Trio (Julie Ribchinsky, Gerald Rose and Linda Laurent) at the Central Connecticut State University Thaddeus L. Top theatre in New Britain.
Polish Composers in L.A.
Music by Wieniawski heard in recital at the Beverly Hills Public Library. Amy and Ray Iwazumi accompanied by pianist Grace Fong.
Lutoslawski’s “Dance Preludes” featuring Gary Gray as the soloist with the L.A. Chamber Orchestra led by Jeffrey Kahane received an excellent review from Daniel Cariaga in the L.A. Times.
Richard Kastle played a program of classical music by Chopin, Debussy, Beethoven, Liszt and Mozart at the Jazz Bakery in Culver city on Sunday 4March.
The Canadian Center Ensemble gave a program of music by Szymanowski, Panufnik, Janacek and Kodaly at the Getty Center, 11 March.
Linda Wang accompanied Sebastian Kah in a performance of the Variations on an Original Theme by Wieniawski at the Culver City Presbyterian Church.
Zora Mihaliovich performed chopin’s Polonaise-Fantaisie along with Variations for piano by USC professor Lauridson on the Sundays Live program from the LA County Museum of Art.
Pianist Jon Nakamatsu performing solo piano pieces by Chopin in a program with the Ying String Quartet sponsored by the Laguna Chamber Music Society in Irvine.
Mary Macdonal performing music by chopin and others at the First Presbyterian Church in Inglewood.
Chopin’s Music in the U.K.
Alexander Ardakov (St. John’s Smith Square), Stephen Hough (Royal Festival Hall), Maria Garzon (Queen Elizabeth Hall),
Yekaterina Lebedeva (Purcell Room), Jonathon Gilad (Wigmore Hall), Peter Donohoe (Guildford, Scotland), Emmanuel Krivine (Glasgow, Scotland).
Chopin heard on BBC Radio: Arturo Benedetti Michalangeli and Stephen Hough.
Ewa Podleś In Montreal
On March 16, 2001, at the Centre Pierre Peladeau in Montreal, Ewa Podleś, our world-famous alto gave a recital organized by “Societe Andre Turp.” The recital was very well attended by music lovers and fans of Podles’s talent (she has quite a following around the world). The concert was devoted in its entirety to the music of Handel and Gluck. In the first part Podles performed three arias from the opera “Rinaldo” by Haendel and in the second part two recitatives and arias from “Orpheus and Euridice” by Gluck. The talented artist demonstrated immense talent and vocal abilities; she was accompanied by Chapelle de Montreal, an ensemble conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin. [RR]
Zygmunt Stojowski and “Piotr Czajkowski”
By Joseph A. Herter
Some people may be familiar with Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky’s Polish Symphony and with the story of his having a close relationship with a young Polish doctor who was studying in Moscow at the time he was writing that symphony. Others may also know that Tchaikovsky visited Warsaw in 1892, when the composer conducted a gala concert of his orchestral works at the Warsaw Opera (Teatr Wielki) on January 13. Few people may know, however, that the composer (like the Russian writer Pushkin) knew Polish fluently, nor may they know of the friendship that existed between this Russian giant and the Polish composer and pianist – thirty years younger than himself – Zygmunt Stojowski (1870-1946).
The two musicians befriended each other in Paris, which was most probably in 1888, during Stojowski’s second year of studies at the National Conservatory. It was Stojowski’s teacher Louis Diemer who performed with Tchaikovsky the latter’s “Concert Fantasy in G Major, Op. 56” in an arrangement for two pianos on March 4 and 16 of that year during a chamber music concert featuring the Russian master’s compositions.
According to a recent Warsaw-New York telephone conversation with Stojowski’s son Henry, during his penultimate year – 1892 – Tchaikovsky was planning to give a series of piano recitals in Moscow featuring the works of Stojowski. The younger Stojowski did not know if these concerts actually took place. Tchaikovsky also invited Stojowski to London for the British premiere of his Fourth Symphony, an invitation which the 23-year-old composer eagerly and gratefully accepted. The London concert took place on May 20, 1893. As a souvenir of that British sojourn together, Tchaikovsky presented the young Polish musician with the score that he used to conduct that concert. Not only did the score contain the composer’s markings, but also a dedication to Zygmunt in Polish. This score remained in the possession of the Stojowski family until December 2000, went it was auctioned at Sotheby’s in London.
In addition to that score, mention is made in an article by Stanislaw L. Centkiweicz In Memoriam Sigismond Stojowski, which appeared in the November 28, 1946 issue of The Polish Review, that the Stojowski family possessed an autographed photo of the Russian composer with a dedication in Polish to Zygmunt’s mother Marie signed Piotr Czajkowski. (For a hilarious Parisian anecdote about Marie Stojowska and Paderewski, see pp. 81-82 in Arthur Rubinstein’s autobiography My Young Years published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. in 1973.)
There’s more. Czeslaw Halski, the author of the Stojowski entry in the 1954 edition of Groves, writes in that edition that there were letters from Tchaikovsky written in Polish to Stojowski which the latter treasured. The mysterious disappearance of these letters, as well as letters from Brahms, Debussy, Delibes, Franck, Paderewski, Saint-Saëns and others, still remains a mystery to be solved: Were they negligently thrown out or did someone walk off with them?
by Wanda Wilk
Bargains available from Daedalus Music on www.salemusic.com:
09077 – Ermitage CD from Hungary reduced to $5.98. Geza Anda, piano, who studied with Dohnanyi and Kodaly performs Chopin’s Twelve Etudes, Op. 25. Called the “Troubadour of the piano” by Wilhelm Furtwanglerafter his 1941 debut with the Berlin Philharmonic, Geza Anda also performs Schubert and Schumann on this disc.
09676 – Dorian Discovery, “Masques” Polish Piano Works by Witold Lutoslawski, Karol Szymanowski & Juliusz Zarebski. Polish pianist Elzbieta Wiedner-Zajac performs the Bucolics, Lullaby and Tarantelle and Grande Polonaise. Reduced form $14 to $5.98.
Specially Priced CD Elsewhere
CPO 999-730-2. Penderecki Chamber Works for Clarinet Quartet, String Trio). Eduard Brunner, cl. Deutsches Streichtrio, Patrick O’Byrne, piano. $11.99. From Naxos at www.cpo.de
Hyperion CD H 55081. Szymanowski. Piano Music. Budget priced. Dennis Lee, piano. Recommended by Gramophone and Fanfare.
Naxos 8.223898. Godowsky. Piano Music. Vol. 4. Konstantin Scherbakov, piano.
Here Is One Crazy Disc
BIS CD 1083. “Got a minute?” is “a riotous selection of elegant, teasing and sometimes madcap virtuoso confectionery,” wrote Bryce Morrison in Gramophone April 2001 issue. This is a disc of Chopin’s “Minute” Waltz played in many different ways by pianist Fredrik Ullen.
John Beversluis informs us in March/April 2001 issue of the American Record Guide that this “unpretentious little piece has inspired an astonishing number of transcriptions, concert paraphrases, and etudes by an impressive list of composers and pianists. This enterprising and altogether fascinating release collects 22 of them. Contributors include Johannes Brahms, Alfred Cortot, Giuseppe Ferrata, Joe Furst, Leopold Godowsky, Louis Gruenberg, Raphael Joseffy, Alexander Michalowsky, Moritz Moszkowski, Isidore Philipp, Max Reger, Moritz Rosenthal, and Kaikhostu Ssorabji. Thrown in for good measure are several also delicious paraphrases of the Waltz ;in A-flat, Op. 42, the Impromptu in A-flat, Op. 29, the Nocturne in E-flat, Op. 9 and the so-called Black Key Etude.” He concludes his exuberant review with “I can’t resist the urge to implore anyone who cares about the piano and ravishing piano playing to rush out and buy this.”
Also reviewed in Fanfare Mar/Apr 2001 issue by Paul Rapoport, who wrote, “This CD ought to carry a note: `Warning: This is the Chopin of your craziest, most intoxicating dreams.'” For him this “excellent CD is an indirect tribute to Donald Garvelmann of NY. In 1969 he published a volume of 13 “Minute” Waltz transcriptions, lovingly researched and laid out. Nine of those are on this CD. Don, you were three decades ahead of your time!.” Judging from all three reviews this is one disc one must have!
Reviewed In BBC Music Magazine Feb 2001
Arabesque Z 6746. Chopin Polish Songs, Op. 74, Ewa Podleś, contralto, Garrick Ohlsson, piano. Elizabeth Mann, fl. Reviewed by Stephen Johnson who gave it ****.
Reviewed In Fanfare Mar/Apr 2001
TELARC CD-80567 Szymanowski. Symphony No. 2, Songs of the Infatuated Muezzin, Slopiewnie. Leon Botstein, cond. London PO. Zofia Kilanowicz, sop.
Adrian Corleonis highly recommends this CD, calling it “an indispensible classic that may well spoil you for other readings.” In general he finds the conductor’s “peculiarly personal way with the music” – “these are no hasty exhumations but revivals, resurrections.” In speaking about the Second Symphony he continues, “Botstein possesses an evidnet sympathy with the young man’s striving, and delivers a masterly account” and comparing it with an earlier recording by Sinaisky and BBC Philharmonic, “only in Botstein’s performance will you hear the exquisite, tumultuous, deliquescently glowing riot of this score given with such hedonistic abandon. Indeed, one is tempted to say that you haven’t begun to hear the Second Symphony until you’ve taken in both of these antipodal performances.
KOCH Schwann 3-6558-2. Tansman. Symphony No. 4. Bric a brac. Israel Yinon, cond. Bamberg SO. ETCETERA KTC 1209. Tansman. Partita. 3 Pieces. Cello Sonata. 4 Pieces faciles. Alexander Zagorinsky, cello, Alexei Shmitov, piano.
Here are 2 more CDs to add to the Olympia OCD 685 (see below in Am Record Guide) of Tansman’s rich productivity of scores (800 of them) according to Martin Anderson, who regardless of the performance on this disc believes that “Tansman fans will fall on this disc with justified gratitude…Yinon seems to be spearheading the revival of the orchestral Tansman…Only one of Tansman’s nine symphonies is currently available on CD.
Reviewed in Gramophone April 2001
Pearl GEM 0095 Music of Chopin, Liszt and Szymanowski played by Witold Malcuzynski in the 1940s and 1950s. “These are welll- engineered transfers” from Columbia early recordings which “recapture the greatness of Malcuzynski’s early years.” (Bryce Morrison)
Naxos Historical mono 8 110661 Arthur Rubinstein. Chopin. “Here in all their glory, are Rubinstein’s 1934-35 recordings of chopin’s six mature Polonaises, framed by examples of his early and late genius (Opp 22 and 61). together with his early discs of the Mazurkas, Scherzos (EMI 10/93) and Nocturnes, these performances remain classics of an unassailable calibre, their richness and character increased rather than diminished by the passage of time.” (Bryce Morrison).
Reviewed In American Record Guide Mar/Apr 2001
Twelve CDs of music by Chopin, Lutoslawski, Marek, Penderecki, Tansman, Wieniawski and Early Polish Music and Arthur Rubinstein are reviewed in this issue.
Olympia 685. Tansman: Violin Concerto; 5 Pieces, 4 Polish Dances, Polish Rhapsody. Beata Halska, violin. Polish Radio Symphony, Bernard le Monnier, cond. A companion to the other two CDs mentioned above and to Marco Polo 8223379 and 8223757, which was reviewed in the Nov/Dec 1996 issue.
ACCORD 11304 Early Polish Masses. Il Canto. Recorded in 1993 this CD is a fine example of music by composers of the late Renaissance and early baroque: Maarcin Leopolita (d. 1589), Grzegorz Gorczycki (1665-1734) aand Marcin Mielczewski (1600-51). Reviewed by Peter Loewen.
ACCORD 465615 Penderecki: Credo This is the Penderecki composition that won the Grammy award in 2001 in the best choral category, but in a Polish rendition. Instead of the original Oregon Bach Festival recording directed by Helmuth Rilling, this CD features Kazimierz Kord leading the National Choir and Orchestra of Poland, the Warsaw Boys Choir and soloists Bozena Harasimowicz, Izabella Klosinska, Ewa Marciniec, Adam Zdunikowski and Piotr Nowacki. Music critic Philip Greenfield wrote, “the performance is extraordinary, with every component coming across beautifully. The brass is especially thrilling. Indeed, it’s all magnificently recorded with scant evidence of the audience that was on hand at Wroclaw’s Maria Magdalena Cathedral in Sep 1999…The Credo is a formidable piece full of deep, dark sonorities, dense, brassy orchestral writing and dramatic interludes that will pin your ears back with their power and depth. The brass at `Visibilium omnium et invisibilium’ is spectacular, as is the interaction between the chorus and the drums in the ‘Exultemus’ section of the closing movement. No doubt about it: when Penderecki lets loose with his terraced rhythms and massive sonorities, he can be downright overwhelming. Some lovely orchestral solos dot the work, as well. So let’s have it known right here that choral afficionados won’t want to miss hearing it.”
DUX 0129 “Ave Mater, O Maria!” has been nominated for a “Fryderyk 2001” Polish music industry award in the category of early music. Dekameron is an early music ensemble founded in 1993. It’s repertoire focuses on on secular music from the 12th to the 15th centuries from countries such as Spain, France, Germany and Poland. This recording features Anna Mikołajczak and Dorota Kozińska-sopranos and Jacek Wisłocki-tenor.
“Cantigas de Santa Maria” a collection of songs about Saint Mary from the middle ages featuring Anna Mikołajczyk-soprano, Natalia Szczech and Małgorzata Feldgebel-violins, Wojciech Blecharz-recorder, Robert Siwak-percussion and Tadeusz Czechak-oud, chitarra morisca, chitarra saracenica, leader.
Born This Month
- 1 April 1872 – Tadeusz JOTEYKO, composer (d. 20 August 1932)
- 3 April 1904 – Maria WIŁKOMIRSKA, pianist professor of piano in Lodz and Warsaw
- 4 April 1941 – Aleksander GLINKOWSKI, composer active in Katowice (d. 1991)
- 8 April 1890 – Zbigniew DRZEWIECKI, pianist and professor of piano, organizer of Chopin Competitions, president of Chopin Society
- 9 April 1880 – Stanisław LIPSKI, pianist and composer (d. 6 October 1937)
- 9 April 1951 – Andrzej KRZANOWSKI, composer (d. 1990)
- 13 April 1890 – Ludwik BRONARSKI, musicologist (d. 1975)
- 18 April 1903 – Tadeusz KWIECINSKI, composer (d. 11 July 1960)
- 21 April 1907 – Antoni SZAŁOWSKI, composer (d. 21 March 1973)
- 29 April 1880 – Adolf CHYBINSKI, musicologist, professor of universities in Lwow and Poznan (d. 31 October 1952)
Died This Month
- 5 April 1935 – Emil MŁYNARSKI, conductor, violininst, composer, music director of the Warsaw Opera, (b. 18 August 1870)
- 9 April 1944 – Bolesław WALLEK-WALEWSKI, conductor and composer, active in Krakow, Warsaw and Poznan (b. 23 January 1885)
- 11 April 1938 – Bronisława WÓJCIK-KEUPRULIAN, musicologist, professor of Lwow University, specialist in Chopin and Armenian music (b. 6 August 1890)
- 12 April 1956 – Tadeusz STRUMIŁŁO, musicologist, professor of Jagiellonian University, with Z. Szweykowski discovered over 200 compositions of 18th, 19th c. (b. 10 July 1929)
- 15 April 1945 – Feliks WRÓBEL, composer and music theorist (b. 15 May 1894)
- 18 April 1854 – Józef ELSNER, composer, founder of Warsaw Conservatory, teacher of Chopin (b. 1 June 1769)
- 24 April 1845 – Anna WOŁKOW-STANIUKIEWICZ, soprano, singer of Warsaw Opera (b. 26 August 1808)
- 25 April 1951 – Jerzy FITELBERG, composer, son of conductor Grzegorz, since 1933 lived in Paris, 1940 in New York (b. 20 May 1903)
- 28 April 1928 – Henryk MELCER-SZCZAWINSKI, pianist, teacher, conductor, professor and chair of the Warsaw Conservatory of Music (b. 21 September 1869)