The Unknown Compositions of Ignacy Jan Paderewski

In Light of Source Research

This article first appeared in Muzyka 33 no. 3 (1988): 21-34. Translated into English by Wanda Wilk.


by Małgorzata Perkowska [1]


While preparing the thematic catalogue of Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s music, Perkowska researched the compositions’ autographs. These are found in the Paderewski Collection at Warsaw’s Academy of Music (Paderewski bequeathed his manuscripts to this institution), as well as in the possession of the Fryderyk Chopin Society in Warsaw and the Paderewski Center at Jagiellonian University, Kraków. Two manuscripts of early works have been discovered: the unpublished Stara Suita op. 13 for piano in the Jagiellonian Library, and a Song in F major for violin and piano in the Library of the Poznań Society of Friends of Science. The storerooms of the Royal Palace in Wilanów have also revealed a considerable quantity of Paderewski’s manuscripts.

Outside of Poland, the autograph of the opera Manru is held by the Cathedral of Learning of Pittsburgh University, while the autograph of the Violin Sonata is in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York. The Polish Museum of America in Chicago holds a sketch of the hymn Hej, Orle Biały! while the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., has the holograph copy of the Minuet in G major op. 14 no. 1. Perkowska described the fates met by various collections of Paderewski’s autographs. The manuscripts of some of Paderewski’s most important published works are still missing, for instance the Polish Fantasy op. 19, the Symphony in B minor, the Melodies to the poetry by C. Mendes op. 22, the Piano Sonata op. 21, and the Variations and Fugue op. 23.

Among the autographs discovered, Perkowska has identified several previously unknown works not mentioned in the composer’s memoirs or biographies. Her study of Paderewski’s unpublished letters (1882-1895) to Helena Górska and (1874-1892) to his father (these letters were preserved in a private collection in the U.S. and donated to the Paderewski Center in 1996), and to his friends (letters cited in Andrzej Piber’s biography of 1982), has enabled Perkowska to identify and classify the newly discovered manuscripts. The article outlines the current state of research, giving concise background information about the composition of these recently discovered pieces. The list includes music for piano, violin, voice, a string quartet, an orchestral overture, and a suite for string orchestra, among other works.



I. The History of Paderewski’s Manuscripts and Correspondence

While preparing the Thematic Catalog of Musical Compositions by Ignacy Jan Paderewski I was conducting a search for Paderewski’s manuscripts; as a result of which I discovered several unknown works among the manuscripts dispersed in libraries in Poland and abroad. As is generally known, Paderewski designated his manuscripts in his will to the Music Conservatory in Warsaw, his works of art to the National Museum in Warsaw, and his library collection to the Jagiellonian University. After the Second World War the Polish Embassy in Bern, Switzerland, transferred Paderewski’s manuscripts to Poland, and in 1960, a significant portion of them found its way via the Archiwum Akt Nowych [Archive of New Documents], to the F. Chopin Society in Warsaw, where they were stored in secure vaults along with the manuscripts of Fryderyk Chopin and Karol Szymanowski. At that time, the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw, probably because of problems with its facilities and lack of suitable space, did not take the manuscripts belonging to it according to the will. In 1965 the Chopin Society contacted Kazimierz Sikorski, then Rector [President] of the State Higher School of Music, with a request for them to take the Paderewski manuscripts, but it did not receive a reply. In January 1971 the Society again turned to the School about the matter of taking the manuscripts; this time with a question, would the School allow the Chopin Society Museum to keep a few of the manuscripts of the outstanding Chopinist and co-editor of the Complete Works of Fryderyk Chopin.[2] In 1971, with permission from the Ministry of Arts and Culture, Rector Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz gifted to the Museum six Paderewski manuscripts, which are listed in the Catalog of the Chopin Society Collection,[3] along with other Paderewski memorabilia. This is the only evidence that Paderewski’s manuscripts had not been lost during the war (as sometimes alleged) and that they did indeed reach their homeland. The manuscripts in the possession of the Academy of Music in Warsaw were assigned to Mr. Włodzimierz Pigła from the National Library for examination and cataloging. A few manuscripts also found their way to the Paderewski Library collection, which was taken over in the autumn of 1974, thanks to the initiative of Dr. Elżbieta Dziębowska, by the Center of Documentation of Paderewski’s Life and Works, at the Department of Music History and Theory, Jagiellonian University, Kraków. I learned about one more place of preservation in California (apart from individual manuscripts found in several libraries) from the private archives of Annette Strakacz-Appleton, daughter of Sylwin Strakacz, secretary to Paderewski.[4] Ms. Strakacz-Appleton turned over much material, correspondence, pictures, etc., to the Hoover Institute at Stanford University in California. However, many very interesting materials remained in her home, especially from the archives of Sylwin Strakacz and Helena Lubke (secretary to Mrs. Paderewski) who lived in the Appleton home for many years.

Biographers of Paderewski have much to be grateful for to Helena Paderewska and Helena Lubke, thanks to whom Paderewski’s letters to his father and a friend (future wife) have been preserved. Helena Górska-Paderewska kept Paderewski’s letters despite his many pleas to destroy this correspondence. Before her death she entrusted them to the care of her loyal secretary, Helena Lubke, who died in 1986 in a hospice in California; Paderewski’s letters remained in Ms. Strakacz-Appleton’s archives.[5] In this archive one can find, among others, the letter written by Helena Lubke from Lausanne on 22 October, 1940 to Sylwin Strakacz in the U.S. Helena Lubke, who after Paderewski’s last voyage abroad remained in Switzerland (she departed for the U.S. after World War II) and took charge of liquidating the Villa Riond-Bosson, reports in her letter the course of packing and taking inventory of all the remaining items in the Paderewski abode; the artist and the accompanying persons left with only personal things. After the items were packed in crates they were transferred for storage to Lavanch in Lausanne. [6] A fragment of Lubke’s letter referred to Paderewski’s manuscripts, which were packed in a separate crate (weighing about 20 kg., i.e. about 50 pounds), and the contents included, among others, the symphony, concerto, sonata, songs, Manru in its first version and many other works. Many other manuscripts of “Mr. President” were found in the library of the study, which were packed separately. Besides that, all the music scores, from which the composer played with his notes and fingerings, were also packed. On 24 November, 1940 Helena Lubke wrote in a letter to the wife of Sylwin Strakacz, Aniela Strakacz, that the crates had been shipped and stored temporarily at Lavanch’s.

I compared the text of Helena Lubke’s letter with the inventory catalog (in the possession of Annette Strakacz-Appleton), in which crate No. 44 named “paquets de manuscripts musique” stood out among 63 crates (with porcelain, silver, etc…). After my return to Warsaw I went to the National Museum, because there – in compliance with Paderewski’s will – his works of art, porcelain, silver, etc. were found. From the text of the Museum’s inventory catalogs it appeared that the contents of crate No. 44 had been in storage in the Palace at Wilanów since 1958, having been the first storage place of all of Paderewski’s collection upon its arrival to Poland. The collection at Wilanów contains many interesting manuscripts, among them the autograph of the score to the Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 17. On the other hand, it concerns me that I did not find the autograph to the Symphony in B minor which had been mentioned in Helena Lubke’s letter. Therefore, would the manuscript have been lost in Poland already?

Moreover, I did not find the Polish Fantasie; in the Paderewski Center in Kraków there are only sketches of this work, as well as an autograph version for two pianos, whereas the American publisher G. Schirmer has only a copy of the manuscript. It wasn’t possible to find the manuscript of the Toccata “Dans le desert,” Op. 15 (even the sketches are missing), songs to poems of C. Mendes, Op. 22, or final manuscript versions of Miscellanea, Op. 16, Sonata, Op. 21, or Variations and Fugue, Op. 23; their first drafts or sketches are to be found in the collections at Wilanów. Let us hope, that these autographs will someday see the light of day, such as the manuscript to the Violin Sonata, Op. 13, which, from the hands of A. Cortot (perhaps Paderewski offered him the autograph) found its way in the 1970s as a gift from Robert O. Lehman to the collections of the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York, where it is now found.

Also preserved in the U.S. is the autograph of the opera Manru, donated to the University of Pittsburgh on the occasion of the construction of a new building, where the score to Manru was to be placed in a bronze case in the Polish Hall next to a copy of Copernicus’ globe.[7] The festive presentation was performed in the name of Paderewski by Sylwin Strakacz on 5 May, 1939. The sketch of his last composition, the hymn Hej, Orle Biały (Hey, White Eagle), is exhibited among many personal mementoes in the collection of the Polish Museum in Chicago. The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. houses (a gift from 1940) a holograph copy of the Minuet in G, Op. 14, which had been prepared for a Red Cross auction and was sold in London for ten thousand pounds designated to help victims of World War I. Searches conducted on United States soil point to the fact that, except for the above-mentioned manuscripts, no others have found their way to public libraries nor most likely to private collections in the USA, although various other, mainly mundane mementoes of the artist are present. [8]

In our country [Poland] there are still several minor compositions by Paderewski: the manuscript to “Old Suite” for piano, Op. 3 in the Jagiellonian Library, as well as a Song for violin and piano in the Poznań Library of the Society of Friends of Science. The actual status of knowledge about sources of manuscripts can be found in the Catalog of I. J. Paderewski Manuscripts co-edited by the author with W. Pigła.[9]


II. Unknown Works and Their Autographs

So far we have not known much about the circumstances of the origin of most of Paderewski’s works, as well as their publications and manuscripts. Detailed information on this theme will be found in the Thematic Catalog of Paderewski’s Works which is being prepared, for which the above-mentioned Paderewski letters from the California collection have been put to good use. These letters, addressed to the artist’s father, Jan Paderewski, and Helena Górska date from 1872 to about 1892 and provide an invaluable resource about his years in school, his youth and early artistic road; they are the only source of information (in addition to the letters to Władysław Górski and Antoni Rutkowski)[10] about his studies as a composer. They allow us to recreate the process of composing for many of the works, and also to fathom the composer’s personality; neither his memoirs,[11] nor the many biographies and press releases of his time are exhaustive enough and they serve as the only resource to complete research on Paderewski’s creativeness. The above mentioned correspondence was unusually helpful in researching and writing about the newly discovered Paderewski manuscripts, it made it possible to identify several works unknown until now, as well as several interesting compositional sketches.

Without going into details about the artistic or compositional worth of these pieces, which demand a separate study, I will present some brief information on the circumstances of their genesis. The increase in the quantity of Paderewski’s compositions, of course, will not change the present value of its role in the history of Polish music; but it does cast a different light on the biography of the artist. Particularly interesting to biographers is the fact that works have been discovered which have been mentioned in lists of compositions or press releases from early performances, works mentioned in lexicons or up until now completely unknown, some mentioned nowhere, but preserved in manuscripts. To these belong several new pieces for piano, two miniatures and sketches for a violin concerto, variations for string quartet, an overture for orchestra, an unfinished (?) suite for string orchestra, as well as instrumental and contrapuntal exercises created during his compositional studies in Berlin.

1. Piano Compositions

The Piano Concerto in A-minor, Op. 17 was composed in several stages between 1882 and 1887. The first version of part II, Andante, as well as the Rondo have survived, and the autographs found their way to the Paderewski Center in Kraków. Based on correspondence it is known that the archetype of the Concerto was the Piano Sonata, which Paderewski was writing in April and May of 1882 in Berlin. The Allegro, Andante, Scherzo and most probably, the Finale, were written then. The Allegro, performed in October 1882 by the composer, and the following year by A. Michałowski, was judged by music critics to be so interesting that for at least the first time Paderewski was noticed as “one of the brightest stars on the horizon of Polish music.” [12] This Allegro was utilized by the composer as he wrote his Piano Concerto, whose first version was written in the fall and winter of 1884. However, the composer was not satisfied with it and returned to the final version in 1887 improving the “old theme” Allegro and creating a new II and III part. Large fragments of the first version of the score of both parts are preserved in Kraków.

The only trace left of the above mentioned Piano Sonata from 1882 is the Scherzo, which – as is seen in the correspondence – Paderewski published as Intermezzo II in c-minor in 1885. [13] Unknown until now and omitted in all lexicon sources or in lists of Paderewski’s works was Op. 3; that is – as it appears to be – the unpublished Old Suite for piano, made up of four parts: “Preludio,” “Intermezzo,” “Aria,” “Fugue.” In the correspondence from Berlin (January 1882) Paderewski wrote about his first meeting with Heinrich Urban, for whom he played, among others, the Old Suite. This title does not refer to its chronological birth, but to the polyphonic style which the young composer used in this suite. The autograph of the Old Suite (for three voices) is found in the Jagiellonian Library, while drafts of the Preludium and Fugue, as well as a full copy by an unknown copyist is in the collections of the F. Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. This last document is dated in the composer’s hand (January, 1880), and the title page is also an autograph and bears the dedication “to Mr. Aleksander Zarzycki.” The manuscript from the Jagiellonian library does not have such a dedication; it had been donated to the library in 1954 by Małgorzata Zarzycka from Warsaw.

Besides the Old Suite, Op. 3 Paderewski composed still other piano suites, to which he devoted much space in his correspondence, without any more details (e.g., without data about keys or opus numbers). Analyzing the information contained in the letters, I ascertained that between 1879 and 1885 three suites and the sonata, which served as the seed for the piano concerto, were written.

Chronologically the earliest news in this correspondence, originating in 1879, refers to the suite, with which Paderewski performed as a “serious composer” [sic!] in one of his first public concerts in Warsaw in November 1879. The author of the favorable review in “Bluszcz” mentioned only two sections of the suite as “worthy of special attention: Menuet and Burlesque.” [14] Known at that time were Paderewski’s three Minuets (Op. 1,14,16) and one “Burlesque” from Op. 14, so the question comes to mind about the relationship of this Suite to the individual parts that make up Opus 14. Finding the autograph of the so-called Suite in E-flat major in the collections of the Chopin Academy of Music allowed me to establish that it is the completely different, youthful,and chronologically second (besides the unknown song Dola [Fate]) of the publicly performed compositions of Paderewski and that it has nothing to do with the parts from Opus 14. The make-up of the Suite from 1879 contains the following sections: “Preludium,” “Menuetto,”[15] “Romance,” “Burlesque.” According to the dates in the autograph the earliest work was the Romance (performed several times as an independent piece) written in his father’s home in Sudylkow on 9 January 1879. The “Prelude” and “Minuet” were written in Nowe Miasto on Pilica in July, 1879, whereas the “Burlesque” was written in Sudylków in August 1879.

After the above mentioned Old Suite, Op. 3 from 1880, the Piano Sonata from 1882 appeared, followed by a third Piano Suite, which – as the composer maintained – turned out “shamefully.” The work was composed in the fall of 1885 and in the spring of 1887, while the individual sections of the Suite, according to the correspondence, were published separately, as parts of various cycles:

  • Op. 14 – Humoresque de concert,
  • Op. 15 – Dans le desert and
  • Op. 16 – Miscellanea.
  • Part I of the Suite contained the Toccata, which the composer published as Op. 15.
  • Part II – Preludium (published as Op. 1 no. 1);
  • Part III Scherzo was evaluated by the composer as not good and consequently not published,
  • Part IV Romance (“Parisian”) is probably identical with Melodia, Op. 16, no. 2 (or Legenda Op. 16, no. 1),
  • Part V Intermezzo was published as Intermezzo Polacco, Op. 14, no. 2,
  • Part VI Variations and Finale appeared as Op. 16, no. 3.

These astounding conclusions based on the texts of the composer’s letters partly explain the incomplete drafts and rough copies of the manuscripts found in the collections at Wilanów. On the same, 12-system paper written in similar style are the following works: Melodia in G-flat major, Op. 16, no. 2), Legendein A-flat major, Op. 16, no. 1 (49 measures are missing from the beginning), a beginning fragment (13 measures) of Intermezzo Polacco in C minor, Op. 14 (end missing), as well as an unknown piece in E-flat major / C minor, in 2/4 meter, of which one page bears the title “Scherzo to the Suite. Presto.”[16] Unfortunately, not even a rough draft of the Toccata in E-flat major, Op. 15 has been preserved. The Theme and 3 Variations (Thème varié Op. 16) is written on paper similar to the previous manuscripts albeit with 16-stave-systems not 12, and the ink and style of writing are somewhat dissimilar from the remaining sections of this manuscript. However, the Finale (from the Kraków collections) is probably a part of the above-mentioned manuscript.

In many lexicon sources and biographies of Paderewski the Valse Mignonne from 1876, dedicated to G. Roguski, has been identified as his first work. Among the collections bequeathed by the composer to the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, one can find a manuscript of a Waltz in F major for piano, which could be this Valse Mignonne. The manuscript, however, does not have a title page, is not dated and does not have the dedication to Roguski. Undoubtedly, it is Paderewski’s manuscript, even though it is written in inexperienced, childish handwriting; most certainly it originated from around 1876. The waltz was composed in Warsaw, as can be seen from the music paper “from the A. Chodowiecki Paper storehouse, previously Rakoczy, in Warsaw, Plac Teatralny No. 7.”

Finally, five other miniature piano pieces were found: Powódz [Flood], Mazurek in G major, Miniatura in E-flat major, sketches of Variations and Fugue in G major and a Preamble. A fragment of the autograph of “Powódź” for piano had been reproduced as an illustration in a Paderewski biography published by Henryk Opieński.[17] In the collections of the Warsaw Music Society one can find a mimeographed copy of a photocopy of an autograph of unknown origin; a facsimile of another version of the autograph had been published in 1884 in the Warsaw Daily under the title “Na pomoc” [To help]. [18] The Mazurek in G major was to have been published as No. 1 in the collection of Polish Dances, Op. 9. Just before sending the Dances to print, Paderewski wrote a Krakowiak in F major, which was published as Op. 1, no. 1. The Mazurek remained as a manuscript and found its way to the collections of the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. The Miniature in Es major (70 measures) probably came to being around 1884-1885 – judging from the paper from the firm of B & H (which was used by Paderewski at this time). There is no mention of this work in the correspondence; but its finished final version of the manuscript is in the Wilanów collection.

The sketches of the Variations and Fugue in G major are notated on paper from the French firm of Lard Esnault, Paris (similar to the paper with the sketches to the Polish Fantasie) and only on this basis can we date them to around 1895-1900. Seven variations (three of which have original numeration), as well as the Fugue have been preserved in the Wilanów Collection. The last minor piano composition (not counting a few unidentified works), for which there is no information, is the Preambulum in G major (original title Preambule), whose finished draft is found in the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw.

2. Violin Compositions

Besides the known Sonata in A-minor for violin and piano, Op. 13, Paderewski wrote other pieces for violin. Here we find, among others, the unfinished Violin Concerto (G minor) composed in Vienna in 1887-1888. It becomes known from the correspondence of the artist, that in addition to the preserved fragments from Section I there existed an Andante and Finale, which the composer destroyed “while under the spell of a weird melancholy.” In the preserved Wilanów Collection of fragments the most legible is the violin part, Part I, on the basis of which it probably would be possible to reconstruct the missing piano part fragments, and in some places, even the instrumental parts. Fragments of themes from Part II and the Finale have also been preserved, but here it would be difficult to reconstruct the whole.

A second work, unknown until now and not mentioned in the literature nor correspondence, is a small violin piece, that is a miniature entitled Romance in A major. [The manuscript (listed in the Academy of Music collection in Warsaw as Op. 7 (sic!), [19] as well as a dedication to “Wł. Górski in friendly offering.”] For unknown reasons this completely finished work was never published. We can date its origin to around 1882 (that is, after Opus 6 and before Opus 8), thus long after the dramatic severance of friendship between Paderewski and Górski.

The third small piece for violin and piano is the youthful miniature titled Pieśń [Son], about which I had already reported in an article in Muzyka.[20]) The Poznań Society of Friends of Science purchased the album from an antique book store, which was then presented to J. J. Kraszewski on the occasion of his 50th anniversary of literary work by the faculty of the Music Institute in Warsaw. Among the assembled works to the writer, the Song in F major for violin and piano written by the 18-year old Paderewski can be found.[21]

3. Chamber Compositions

No compositions for string quartet had been known to exist up until now; it was not even known whether the composer ever tried to write for this genre. It is evident, however, that the artist tried several times to write a string quartet, but without satisfying results. The only completely preserved score is the autograph Variations and Fugue in F major for string quartet. Finding the autograph of this work in the Wilanów collection has dispersed all doubts that were implied from the text of Paderewski’s letter to Władysław Górski of May 1882 from Berlin,[22] in which the composer states that he is busy copying voice parts to non-specified variations. They were to be performed soon by the Joseph Kotek Quartet in Berlin. It was a known fact, at that time, that the Variations in A minor, Op. 11 for piano had been written, so it was possible to have assumed that the composer was working on a version for a string quartet of the piano variations. There is no doubt, at the present time, that this was a different work by Paderewski unknown until now.

Three other short fragments of works for string quartet have been preserved as evidence of his work on the string quartet in 1882, 1884 and 1887. In 1887 Paderewski attempted for the last time to write a string quartet, with encouragement from Brahms who promised to help him. But as he himself admitted in one of his letters, he didn’t work long enough with Ferdinand Kiel on counterpoint to be able to easily manage this technique, and his pianistic habits clearly hampered his work. He even planned in 1887, in association with the projected quartet, to [“have hidden my ambitions in my pocket to find some crassest ignoramus (sic) and write a lot of chorales and fugues.”][23]

Up to now we have not found any compositions by Paderewski for solo brass instruments. A few miniatures for wind instruments, as well as horn, were written in the spring of 1884 as a result of his studies in orchestration under Heinrich Urban in Berlin. The following works have been preserved in the collections at the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw: manuscripts of exercises for 2 oboes and 2 bassoons, for 8 wind instruments (flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon), for 2 flutes and 2 clarinets, as well as for 4 horns. In his correspondence Paderewski only mentions one Humoresque for 2 oboes and 2 bassoons of with which he was satisfied. The remaining exercises probably come from that same period.

4. Orchestral Compositions

The Symphony in B minor is not the only orchestral work by Paderewski. His first larger work for orchestra was an Overture, composed under Heinrich Urban between March and June of 1884, after completing exercises for various instruments and after finishing the Suite for string orchestra. As can be seen from the correspondence, the publisher G. Bock supposedly was “ecstatic” with the Overture (which he probably knew from the piano version) and even promised to publish the Overture if it would be performed in Berlin. This built up Paderewski’s confidence very much, and yet in the next letter to Helena Górska, he stated that Bock’s friendliness was probably caused by the fact that another publisher, Erler, was printing the Tatra Dances, op. 12. Paderewski’s Overture was never performed nor published and the autograph of this work, containing signs of corrections in an unfamiliar hand (probably Heinrich Urban), has been divided: half of it is in the Paderewski Center in Kraków and half in the Chopin Academy of Music collection in Warsaw.

The already mentioned Suite for string orchestra “in the form of a march” as the composer described it, was also started under Heinrich Urban in Berlin. The “Allegro” from the Suite was liked by Stanisław Barcewicz who heard it in January 1884 (most likely in a piano version) during a visit to Paderewski. The composer maintained that he did not put much value in this work, which most likely did not stand a chance of being published. He decided, however, to complete the suite and soon other sections appeared: “Scherzo,” “Adagio” and “Finale.” In Paderewski’s correspondence we find quite a bit of information about Urban, in reference to the corrections in the Suite. Urban brought attention to the “uncomfortable” fragments for violin or viola, with the parallel fifths and octaves, with the voice parts and “other scholastic judgements,” as Paderewski described the situation, calling Urban a Berlin Roguski, only somewhat “fatter.” Despite his intervention Urban most likely “was impressed” with some of the aspects of the “Scherzo” from Paderewski’s Suite. It was possible to put together the “Allegro,” “Scherzo” and a fragment of the incomplete “Adagio,” as well as a fragment being a variant of an “Allegro” (possibly the “Finale”) at the Academy of Music.

5. Vocal Compositions

Among the unknown Paderewski autographs a song can be found for voice and piano, titled Dans la forêt to words by Theodore Gautier dedicated to Victor Maurel, published and presently performed by Jerzy Knetig. Several copies of the printed song are included in the collection of scores given by Paderewski to Kraków; they bear the copyright of 1896 as well as the name of the publisher G. Schirmer. A copy in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. lists Willcocks as the publisher. Despite my inquiries I did not find any other copies of this song. However, the manuscript can be found in the collection of the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw and originated probably from around 1896. I give this date even though Paderewski mentions in one of his letters to Helena Górska already in November 1886 that two “French songs have arrived.”[24] Any other information on the origin of these songs has thus far not been found.

Another song unknown until now by Paderewski is Konwalijka to words by A. Asnyk. [25] On the title page of the manuscript [26] the opus number appears as Opus 14 (sic), [27] because the composer finished the song specifically for a composer’s concert in Warsaw in April 1885, together with the Violin Sonata, Op. 13. Although the first mention of composing a song to Asnyk’s text comes from correspondence of April 1882, and the next in November and December of 1882, the publication of the cycle (without no. 5, Konwalijka) was not done until 1888, and this mainly because of problems translating the text to German; the publisher G. Bock was not satisfied with the translation and Paderewski had to search for another translator. Even the composer contributed to the delay of the publication, not being satisfied with Konwalijka after its first performance. He intended to correct it, but ultimately never did. In one of his letters he makes excuses because of lack of time to make the necessary improvements to Konwalijki and he did not want to give this “miserable” (wretched) piece to print without making changes. Without going into an artistic evaluation of the song, it is worth mentioning that Paderewski was very critical of his works, e.g. about his famous Minuet in G, op. 14, he expressed himself with “bête noir,” “świntustwo” [nasty stuff] which he must perform everywhere so many times that his “ears burst.”[28] Soon after its publication, in one of his letters to Helena Górska, [29] he wrote ironically that the publisher is so enamored with him because of the “detested” Minuet, he writes only “erotics” to him.

I found sketches of several other unfinished songs in the collections in Wilanów, in the Academy of Music in Warsaw and in the Paderewski Center at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. They are:

  • a project of a second song to a French text of A. de Musset, titled Rapelle-toi (in Kraków),
  • an unfinished song to words of A. Asnyk, Ach, jak mi smutno [Oh, how sad am I] (in Warsaw),
  • a draft song to words by A. Mickiewicz, Kochanko moja [My Beloved] (in Wilanów),
  • as well as a draft song to words by Z. Krasiński, Czy to cuda, czy to złuda [Is this a miracle, or delusion],
  • Powiedz orle [Tell me eagle] – fragment from Z Psalmów przyszłości [From Psalms of the Future] (in Warsaw) and
  • O nie mów o mnie [Do not speak of me] (in Wilanów).

These final sketches were notated on paper from Bellamy- Lard Esnault, Paris, similar to paper used in composing the Polish Fantasy in an arrangement for two pianos (paper from Lard Esnault, Paris), and only on this basis can we date the origin of these song sketches to around 1895; there is no mention about composing songs to words by Zygmunt Krasiński in Paderewski’s correspondence. All the above-mentioned sketches contain so little musical text that, most likely, it will never be possible to reconstruct them.

Several manuscripts of choral pieces a capella have been preserved among these vocal compositions:

  • Kyrie eleison for choirs in 2-part, 3-part and 4-parts;
  • Et vitam venturi for 4-voice choir, 2 fragments for 4-voice choir:
  • Ich will den Herrn,
  • Dom hoch den Herrn.

They were most likely written as contrapuntal exercises during his studies in Berlin in 1884, although one of Paderewski’s letters of November 1886 mentions, among his “latest news”, a “small choral work for men’s voices.”

As seen from the above remarks, the picture of the creative activities of this outstanding pianist and composer has undergone a certain broadening. The musicological neglect of so many years of Paderewski’s creativity, however, demands much more research, e.g., the study of his correspondence and concert reviews, the publication of a thematic catalogue, but most of all the preparation of a new edition of his complete works.



[1]. Original publication data: Małgorzata Perkowska, “Nieznane kompozycje I.J.Paderewskiego w świetle badań zródłowych” [Unknown compositions of I. J. P. in light of source research], Muzyka, no. 3 (1988): 21-32. Dr. Perkowska is the Director of the Paderewski Center at Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland. [Back]

[2]. Fryderyk Chopin, Complete Works based on manuscripts and first editions, with a critical commentary; ed. by Ignacy J. Paderewski, Ludwik Bronarski and Józef Turczyński, 26 vols. (Kraków: Instytut Fryderyka Chopina, Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne, 1949).[Back]

[3]. Catalog of the Museum Collection of the F. Chopin Society. Manuscripts, Prints, Graphics, Photos. H. Wróblewska, M. Gendaszek-Lewkowicz, eds. (Warszawa, 1971). [Back]

[4]. For information about Annette Strakacz-Appleton, Aniela and Sylvin Strakacz, and their relationship to Paderewski see: Aniela Strakacz. Paderewski As I Knew Him: From the Diary of Aniela Strakacz. Translated from the Polish by H. Chybowska (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1949); Małgorzata Perkowska-Waszek and Anne Strakacz-Appleton, eds, Za kulisami wielkiej kariery. Paderewski w dziennikach i listach Sylwina i Anieli Strakaczów. 1936-1937 [Behind the scenes of a great career: Paderewski in diaries and letters of Sylwin and Aniela Strakacz, 1936-1937] (Kraków: Musica Iagellonica, 1994). [Back]

[5]. Thanks to her courtesy I had the opportunity to benefit from this correspondence and the whole archive, as well as personally receiving a copy of the Inventory Book from Riond-Bosson.[Back]

[6]. The house, as part of the estate, was sold after the war, and later destroyed. A super highway now runs over it, only the cottages of the gardener, guard, chauffeur and pigeon keeper have been left; see Annales Paderewski no. 7 (1984), 16-17.[Back]

[7]. Presently the Cathedral of Learning of Pittsburgh University. Microfilm of the autograph of the opera (as well as the Sonata) is in the possession of the author.[Back]

[8]. Compare with D. W. Krumel, J. Geil, D. J. Dyen, D. L. Root, eds., Resources of American Music History. A Directory of Source Materials from Colonial Times to World War II. Urbana (Chicago, London: University of Chicago Press, 1981;) the National Union Catalog of Manuscripts Collections, J. W. Edwards ([Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan, 1962.)[Back]

[9]. Małgorzata Perkowska and Włodzimierz Pigła, “Katalog rękopisów I.J. Paderewskiego” [A catalogue of I.J. Paderewski’s manuscripts] Muzyka 33 no. 3 (1988): 53-70. [Back]

[10]. Quoted in Andrzej Piber’s biography of Paderewski’s early years, Droga do sławy [Road to Fame] (Warsaw: PIW, 1982.)[Back]

[11]. I. J. Paderewski and Mary Lawton, Paderewski: Pamiętniki [Memoirs], Polish translation by W. Listowska and T. Mogilnicka (3rd ed. Kraków: PWM, 1972).[Back]

[12]. “Z miasta. Z muzyki” [From the city. From music]. Gazeta Polska [Polish Gazette] no. 244 (1882): 6.[Back]

[13]. In Music Supplement to Echo Muzyczne. Teatralne i Artystyczne no. 89 (1885). [Back]

[14]. Jan Kleczyński, “Baritone concert of P. Sachocki,” Bluszcz no. 49 (1879): 391.[Back]

[15]. Published with small changes as Op. 1 no. 2, in Zwei Klavierstucke of 1886.[Back]

[16]. See Perkowska and Pigła, op. cit., “Catalog of Manuscripts” no. 70-71. [Back]

[17]. Henryk Opieński, Ignacy Jan Paderewski (Warszawa, 1928). [Back]

[18]. Opieński and other authors after him have mistakenly listed the title as “Na powodzian” [For flood victims]. The “Na pomoc” [To help] was published in July 1884; copies are found in the archives of the National Library in Warsaw and the library of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. [Back]

[19]. Four songs to words of Adam Asnyk have actually been published as Op. 7. [Back]

[20]. M. Perkowska, “Early Works of I. J. Paderewski in Light of Press Sources,” Muzyka no. 3-4 (1981): 177-120.[Back]

[21]. This miniature was recorded by Barbara Koska-Stuhr in 1983 for the documentary film on Paderewski directed by A. Chiczewski. [Back]

[22]. Compare with A. Piber, op. cit., 90-91.[Back]

[23]. Letter to W. Górski, Vienna, 27 February 1887. See Piber, op. cit., 148-149.[Back]

[24]. That second song is probably Rappelle-toi, see item 103 in Perkowska and Pigła, “Catalog of Manuscripts,” op. cit. [Back]

[25]. “Nie będę cię rwała, konwalijko biała” [I will not pluck you, white lily-of-the-valley]. Adam Asnyk, Poezje [Poems], 2nd ed. (Lwów, 1876.)[Back]

[26]. The title page is in the Wilanów Collection and the score in the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. [Back]

[27]. In the end, the songs received the “Op. 7” number in place of the unpublished Romance in A major for violin and piano (compare items 104 and 105 in Perkowska and Pigła’s “Catalog of Manuscripts,” op. cit.)[Back]

[28]. Letters to Helena Górska, Strasburg, 7 November 1885, and Vienna, 21 January 1887.[Back]

[29]. Letters to Helena Górska, Vienna, 21 January, 30 December 1887 and others in the Annette Strakacz-Appleton archives in California (since 1996 in the Paderewski Center, Jagiellonian University, Kraków). [Back]


Małgorzata Perkowska (full name Perkowska-Waszek) obtained her Master’s degree in musicology at the Jagiellonian University (1974). She currently directs the Center for the Documentation of the Paderewski’s Life and Composer’s Output in the Institute of History and Theory of Music, Jagiellonian University, Kraków. She published one book and several articles concerning Ignacy Jan Paderewski. The book documents Paderewski’s concert programs throughout his career, Diariusz koncertowy Ignacego Jana Paderewskiego [Paderewski’s Concert Diary] (Kraków: Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne, 1990). Her articles include: “Katalog rekopisów I.J. Paderewskiego,” (co-authored by Włodzimierz Pigła, Muzyka vol. 33 no. 3 (1988): 53-70), “Data urodzin Paderewskiego” (Muzyka vol. 20 no. 2 (1975): 114-15), “Początki i rozwój kariery pianistycznej Paderewskiego” (Muzyka vol. 22 no. 3 (1977): 39-59), “Wczesne utwory Ignacego J. Paderewskiego w świetle źrodeł prasowych” (Muzyka Vol. 26 no. 3-4 (1981): 117-20), “Ośrodek Dokumentacji Życia i Twórczości Ignacego Jana Paderewskiego” (in Muzykologia krakowska; Kraków: Uniwersytet Jagiellonski, 1987, 47-54), “Nieznane kompozycje I.J. Paderewskiego w świetle badań źródłowych.” (Muzyka Vol. 33 no.1 (1988): 21-33). The latter article is reprinted here. Dr. Perkowska is the editor-in-chief of the Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s Dzieła wszystkie/ Complete Works (Kraków: Musica Iagellonica, 1997-).