Rutkowski on Leschetizky’s Piano in Warsaw

Pianist Hubert Rutkowski visited Warsaw late last year and appeared as soloist at the inaugural concert of the Third International Paderewski Festival held in the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall. On November 5, 2016, Rutkowski performed Leschetizky’s one-movement Piano Concerto in C minor Op. 9 and Paderewski’s Polish Fantasy Op. 19 with Polish Radio Orchestra led by Michał Klauza.

Rutkowski also recorded an interview (in Polish with English subtitles), discussing the Bösendorfer piano once owned by Leschetizky that was brought to Warsaw Philharmonic Hall for this occasion from a piano collection in Göttingen, Germany. You can see and hear this historic instrument—on which Paderewski played during his piano lessons with Leschtizky in Vienna in the mid-1880s—in a 15-minute video clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26dRi60KGaA

More about Leschetizky and the concert from the website of the Warsaw Philharmonic:

Few piano teachers were so highly regarded and influential as Theodor Leschetizky. Born in 1830 in Łańcut, he lived from his childhood years in Vienna, where his teachers included C. Czerny (piano) and S. Sechter (composition), among others. Admired as a virtuoso and conductor, popular in his time as a composer, he is now remembered primarily as an excellent teacher, the master of many would-be virtuosos who recalled him with great respect. At this unprecedented concert, the audience will hear the works of the master and one of his greatest pupils performed on a historical instrument that belonged to Leschetizky himself! On this 1882 Bösendorfer concert piano, rediscovered in Germany, Leschetizky taught such pianists as e.g. Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Artur Schnabel, Mieczysław Horszowski, Anna Yesipova, Benno Moiseiwitsch, Paul Wittgenstein, Elly Ney and Henryk Melcer. Leschetizky’s own signature can be found on the soundboard.

Leschetizky’s early Piano Concerto in C Minor, unpublished in his lifetime, is a rather conventional but charming and engaging piece from the time of the young composer’s search for his own individual creative path. Paderewski’s fascinating Polish Fantasy combines elements of rich neo-Romantic harmonic language with impressive instrumentation, brilliant solo virtuosity and interesting use of national themes.

Hubert Rutkowski graduated from the Music Academy in Warsaw and later studied piano in Hamburg. He recorded works by Julian Fontana and Teodor Leschetizky for Acte Préalable in 2007 and 2008. Since 2010 he is on the faculty of Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg, Germany. An active recitalist, he also performed as the Gala pianist at the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles in 2009.

[Source: performer; Photo: facebook.com]