More PMC gifts: Paderewski Speaks…

For years, another longtime friend and PMC supporter, Betty Harford-Naszódy, has been on the lookout for Paderewski-related items in various antique bookstores and other purveyors of memorabilia and collectors’ treasures throughout California. Her most recent (and successful) hunt yielded two articles with Paderewski’s interviews, published in the 1920s and the 1930s in Etude Magazine. The first, Breadth in Musical Art Work, has Paderewski ruminating on the role of music in his life, musical life in Poland, and discussing various composers he studied with or performed in concert. He also opines on the importance of musical education for the young:

The intellectual drill which the study of music gives the child is of great educational value. There is nothing which will take its place and it is for this reason that many of the greatest educators have advocated it so highly. In addition to this, the actual study of music results in almost limitless gratification in later life in the understanding of great musical masterpieces.

Read the full article “Breadth in Musical Art Work” at: polishmusic.usc.edu/files/2020/08/Paderewski_Etude001.pdf

The second article, The Etude Master Study Page, provides an extensive biographical portrait of Paderewski that was likely published shortly after World War I. It opens with a chapter “Paderewski’s Period” stating that, “Excepting only Frederic Chopin, no character in musical history has been so prominently identified with Poland as Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Considered from a popular standpoint, Chopin never attained that wide celebrity which attaches to the great Polish virtuoso of the present day, whose fame has reached mission who may never hear him play, but are as familiar with his name as that of the greatest statesman of the day.” 

The article continues with a broad sketch of Polish history from the 16th century onwards, and moves on to describe Paderewski’s background and musical education. In a section entitled “Inspiration from a Famous Actress,” we find out how in the early 1880s Paderewski met the great actress, Helena Modrzejewska, known as “Modjeska” outside of Poland. According to the article, Modjeska found Paderewski to be… 

… a polished and genial companion; a man of wide culture; of witty and sometimes biting tongue; brilliant in table talk; a man wide awake in all matters of personal interest, who knew and understood the world, but whose intimacy [Modjeska] and her husband especially prized for the elevation of his character and refinement of his mind.

The article moves on to a discussion of Paderewski’s philanthropies, his personality with its intense seriousness and great linguistic gifts, and closes with a list of Paderewski’s compositions with their respective level of difficulty for the piano students and readers of Etude Magazine. In small print, the anonymous authors note the following: “Music lovers desiring to study a more difficult type of composition will find in the Variations and Fugue in A minor and in the Sonata Op. 21, modern pianoforte works which should be in the repertoire of every very advanced pianist.”

The article also recommends Paderewski biographies by Henry T. Finck, Edward A. Baughan, and Alfred Nossig, as well as the Polish language volume by Henryk Opieński, a musician, critic and a close friend of Paderewski.

Read the full article “The Etude Master Study Page” at: polishmusic.usc.edu/files/2020/08/Paderewski_Etude002.pdf

These two articles that are in very fragile condition were already scanned and will be added to the PMC’s Paderewski Archive – Paso Robles Collection—a unique assortment of photographs, scores, correspondence, memorabilia and personal artifacts of Paderewski held at the Polish Music Center.