During recent meetings with PMC Director Marek Zebrowski, officials from the Kraków Music Academy presented several items for the PMC’s ever-growing library. First, an important English-language resource by the esteemed musicologist and pedagogue, Mieczysław Tomaszewski, entitled Krzysztof Penderecki and His Music. Four Essays. We were also gifted 3 interesting CDs produced by the Academy: “Jazz in Academia – Big Band AM+” – the first recording of the Academy’s Big Band, under the leadership of Wojciech Groborz; a CD of Chopin works performed by current students and graduates of the Academy; and a CD of Paderewski’s Symphony in B minor op. 24 “Polonia,” as performed by the Symphony Orchestra of the Academy led by Wojciech Czepiel, cond.
Pianist Piotr Różański of the Stowarzyszenie Polskich Muzyków Kameralistów recently donated the CD “Weinberg: Sonatas For Violin And Piano,” performed by his duo partner violinist Maria Sławek. Mieczysław Weinberg, a Polish Jewish composer who survived the Holocaust by escaping to the Soviet Union, has experienced quite the period of rediscovery during the last few years, and this album provides not only insight into his lesser known works for piano and violin, but also excellent liner notes written by Maria Sławek.
Our great friends pianist Marek Szlezer and cellist Jan Kalinowski of the Cracow Duo gifted us their not-yet-released book and CD entitled Spod Estrady. In it, musicologist Mateusz Borkowski interviews the duo on the occasion of their 15th anniversary of musical collaboration and adventure. The text is accompanied by many photos as well as a disc of music that is important to the musicians, including works by Aleksander Tansman, Marcel Chyrzyński and Bartosz Chajdecki.
From the Messages String Quartet we received an interesting new CD examining the three String Quartets by Szymon Laks that survived WWII and the composer’s time at the Auschwitz extermination camp: his String Quartets Nos. III, IV and V (DUX Records 1286). The Messages String Quartet is an all-female ensemble comprised of Małgorzata Wasiucionek, Oriana Masternak – violin, Maria Dutka – viola, and Beata Urbanek-Kalinowska – cello.
Dawid Pajdzik is the leader of the Gorzów Philharmonic’s viola section and a graduate of Wrocław Music Academy. A recent recipient of a semester-long scholarship from Lynn Music University in Boca Raton, Florida, Mr. Pajdzik also had a chance to perform with the New World Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Gustavo Dudamel. In addition to his orchestral work, Dawid also likes to compose original works and arrange music by other composers for a variety of ensembles. After Marek Zebrowski’s performance with the Gorzów Philharmonic in May, Mr. Pajdzik presented two of his compositions: Concerto for Clarinet, Viola and Strings and Sinfonietta for Strings, as a donation for the Polish Music Center. These two pdf scores will join our electronic library and will be made available to students and scholars interested in contemporary music by Polish composers.
Kathryn Marshall and Divine Art Records sent the PMC a promotional copy of their brand new release “Karol Szymanowski: Piano Music.” The CD is performed by Polish pianist Barbara Karaśkiewicz. With this album, she turns to the composer that she considers the most important in Poland and one for whose music there is a high demand.
From Naxos Records, we received a promotional copy of their new CD by Polish-American composer Mark Nowakowski. The works on this album are Nowakowski’s haunting tributes to the Polish people’s spirit of survival, and are performed by the Voxare String Quartet with soloist Emily Ondracek-Peterson and the composer performing electronics.