Gifts to PMC: Nov-Dec 2019

New Additions to our CD Collection

Mr. Andrzej Kosendiak, Director of the National Forum of Music has donated the following albums:

  • Works by Marcin Józef Żebrowski. Arranged and conducted by Andrzej Kosendiak, and performed by the Wrocław Baroque Orchestra, Jian Hui Mo (treble), Matthew Venner (countertenor), Maciej Gocman (tenor), Felix Schwandtke (bass), and the NFM Boys’ Choir and NFM Choir. Recorded in the Pomeranian Philharmonic Concert Hall during a Polish Baroque concert at the 56th Bydgoszcz Music Festival, 19 September 2018.
  • Works by Stanisław Sylwester Szarzyński. Arranged and conducted by Andrzej Kosendiak, and performed by Wroclaw Baroque Ensemble, Aldona Bartnik (soprano), Aleksandra Turalska (soprano), Alexander Schneider (alto), Maciej Gocman (tenor), Benjamin Glaubitz (tenor), Tomáš Král (bass), Radosław Kamieniarz (I violin), Klaudia Matlak (II violin), Julia Karpeta (viola da gamba), Krzysztof Karpeta (violone), Marta Niedźwiecka (chest organ), Ferdinand Hendrich (trombone), Hans-Martin Schlegel (trombone), Masafumi Sakamoto (trombone).

On behalf of composer Marta Ptaszyńska, Ann Stimson donated the following album:

  • Homage to Women Composers. The Piano Duo of Iris Graffman Wenglin & Ruth Lomon perform works by Clara Wieck Schumann, Germaine Tailleferre, Louise Talma, Miriam Gideon, Barbara Pentland, Marga Richter, Thea Musgrave, Ruth Lomon, Jacqueline Fontyn, Marta Ptaszyńska and Shulamit Ran.

Olivier Vannieu representing Off Records in Brussels, Belgium, recently sent us the following album just released in November 2019:

  • Sonatas for Violin and Piano by Grażyna Bacewicz (2 CD set). Performed by French violinist Annabelle Berthomé-Reynolds and Bulgarian pianist, Ivan Donchev. Program includes Bacewicz’s five Sonatas for Violin and Piano, and two Sonatas for Violin Solo. With an extensive booklet in Polish, German, French and English, this very attractive presentation continues to commemorate double anniversary of Bacewicz’s birth and death that fell in 2019.

Many Gifts from Łódź Music Academy

Following the recent Roman Ryterband celebrations at the Łódź Music Academy, the Rector, Dr. Cezary Sanecki, presented the Polish Music Center with a richly illustrated album about the Academy and with some very interesting CDs. One of them is dedicated to Paul Kletzki (1900-1973), who achieved worldwide fame as a conductor, especially after World War II, but who—as it turns out—was also a gifted composer of symphonic and chamber music. Published by DUX in a series “Music Unlost—Muzyka Nieutracona,” this CD features Kletzki’s Sonata in D major for violin and piano, Op. 12 and Trio in D major for violin, cello and piano, Op. 16. Harmonically bold and oscillating between the neo-romantic glow and expressionist aesthetic, both the Sonata and Trio date from the mid-1920s, when Kletzki was active as a musician in Berlin. Pianist Adam Manijak with violinists Magdalena Kling-Fender and Łukasz Błaszczyk and cellist Robert Fender ably rise to the task in presenting this fascinating and too-rarely heard repertoire.

Another rare (and a world premiere) recording with Łódź-based cellist Krzysztof Karpeta and pianist Michał Rot features Cello Sonatas nos. 2, 3 and 4, written Victoria Yagling (1946-2011). Born in Moscow, Yagling was a student of Mstislav Rostropovich and a virtuoso cellist with great international reputation. She also studied composition with Dmitri Kabalevsky and Tikhon Khrennikov and left a significant catalogue of chamber music and orchestral works. She eventually emigrated from Russia and settled in Finland in 1990 to become a professor at the Sibelius Academy. This DUX CD also has an informative booklet with personal recollections by the composer’s son, pianist Victor Chestopal who performed the Sonatas with his mother.

From 1 to 7, a cycle of seven pieces for voice and guitar dating from 2017 and composed by Stefan Węgłowski (b. 1985), was recorded by soprano Yeyoung Sohn and guitarist Marcin Dylla. This unusual CD recorded for Kairos presents a young Polish composer, producer, performer and faculty at the Media Art Academy in Warsaw as a minimalist who combines spectral techniques with electronic music elements to a truly unusual effect.

Łódź Ghetto Explored

Joanna Podolska, director of the Marek Edelman Center for Dialogue in Łódź and a PMC friend of many years, had enriched our sound and book library by donating several significant items. The first of Joanna’s gifts is a recording of music by Dawid Bajgelman (1888-1945), a composer and conductor closely connected to Łódź, where he served as director of the City Yiddish Theatre since 1912 and later organized and led concerts in the Łódź Ghetto. Performed by the Tubis Trio (pianist Maciej Tubis, basist Paweł Puszczała and precussionist Przemysław Pacan), their CD recording titled “Impressions” features a number of Bajgelman’s Yiddish hits that were popular with a broad segment of the Polish society in the 1930s. The other disc, Modlitwa Getttowego Żyda [The Prayer of a Ghetto Jew], was produced to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Łódź [Litzmanstadt] Ghetto. A moving text by Rywa Kwiatkowska (b. 1920) was set to music by Sebastian Kondratowicz and performed by the Four Cultures Quartet ensemble, representing musicians from Poland, Germany, Israel and Russia as well as the Łódź Chamber Orchestra and Łódź Philharmonic Choir directed by Daniel Raiskin.

The four publications we received from Joanna Podolska include Marek Edelman’s Getto walczy [Ghetto is Fighting], a memoir of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and Jewish Bund’s role in it, and Rok Marka Edelmana w Łodzi [Marek Edelman’s Year in Łódź], a catalogue of events and recollections relating to this famous resident of the city. The remaining books are English language publications, Time of the Litzmanstadt Ghetto—Film Images, and a richly illustrated catalogue, Artur Szyk—Man of Dialogue, detailing an exhibit dedicated to this famous artist and illustrator.

Americans in Poland

Vivian Reed, who recently authored an absorbing book, An American in Warsaw—Selected Writings of Hugh Gibson, US Minister to Poland, 1919-1924, had just sent to us a catalogue of the exhibit of the same name, Americans in Poland 1919-1947—a work she co-authored with Jan-Roman Potocki. Published in Polish and English by Dom Spotkań z Historią this fascinating title contains illustrated entries on Herbert Hoover and his role in Poland’s humanitarian relief during and after the First and Second World War. Turning pages, one finds depictions of the legendary Kosciuszko Squadron leaders Merian C. Cooper and Cedric E. Fauntleroy, or such American diplomatic representatives, as Hugh Gibson or Anthony Drexel Biddle (learn more at the US Embassy website).

Other fascinating and important figures—including Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Dwight Eisenhower, Arthur Bliss Lane, Achille Ratti, to name but a few—form a kaleidoscopic parade of characters who shaped the modern history of Polish-American relations. Good deeds of many American women—with Amy Tappin and Rebecca Janney Timbres Clark—who spearheaded the humanitarian relief in Poland during the difficult years following World War I and heretofore-unsung heroes, like the photographer of the Warsaw WW II Blitzkrieg, Julien Bryan, are rightly highlighted in this publication as well.