Polish Music Journal
Vol. 5, No. 2, Winter 2002. ISSN 1521 - 6039




The Writings of Zygmunt Stojowski

by Joseph A. Herter




Introduction


The numerous articles that Stojowski penned show the composer-pianist-pedagogue in still another light: as a writer and musicologist. His biographical articles on composers include ones on Chopin and recollections of two others whom he knew personally - Brahms and Paderewski. As a pianist and pedagogue expressing himself in written word, we can find articles on piano performance and interpretation as well as many "Master Lessons" which appeared in The Etude magazine. As a composer, we find him authoring articles that reflect his philosophy of music and give his opinions on the contemporary music of his day. As a musicologist, though, Stojowski can be found at his best in writing about the music of his native Poland and in the unpublished commentary of Chopin's Mazurkas, which accompany his own fingered and pedaled edition of these pieces that were also never published, save for the exception of one.

The articles listed here are written in Polish and English. Native English speakers will not only admire Stojowski's flawless grasp of the English language, but they will also be amazed to know that English was not the musician's second language. It was his fifth. A polyglot, Stojowski first became fluent in Polish, Russian, French and German before he moved to America, where he also mastered Spanish with the help of his Peruvian-born wife Luisa Morales-Macedo and - to a lesser extent - Portuguese with the help of one of his students - Guiomar Novaes. The multilingual Pole also had a working knowledge of ancient Latin and Greek. He shared his knowledge of Latin with his youngest son Ignatius, becoming his son's first Latin teacher prior to his entry into a Jesuit seminary.

In its nearly 75-year history (1883-1957), The Etude magazine was the premiere American musical periodical intended for music educators, especially piano teachers. It was the medium for many of Stojowski's articles on music and at least seven of his editions and critical analyses of compositions by Chopin, Mendelssohn, A. Rubinstein, Schubert, Schubert/Liszt and Schumann that appeared in the magazine's "Master Lesson" section. The editors of the magazine contracted the top pianists of their day to produce these critical editions of piano works by famous composers. The work would first be introduced by a lengthy analytical lesson, presented in a thoroughly exhaustive manner, on some well-known piano composition which was then followed by the "master's" edition of the piece. The publishing house Theodore Presser, the owner of The Etude, reissued these works separately. The publisher would also host workshops throughout the United States where aspiring young pianists could attend and learn from other reputable teachers who were engaged to use these "master lesson" editions, enabling the pupil to say, for example, that they were "using Stojowski's interpretation." There were two other attractions of The Etude that made the monthly magazine popular in its day: its lovely and unforgettable front covers and the music supplement that provided over a half dozen pieces of music for the amateur musician to learn and play. The front cover of the February 1915 issue, which was dedicated to Polish music and the cause of Polish independence—as been reproduced here. The beauty of the reproduction of the handsome Paderewski may be the reason why it was missing from the copies of that issue found in the collections of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and at the main branch of the Detroit Public Library. Stojowski's compositions would also appear in the magazine's musical supplement sections. The first to be printed was his Mélodie from Deux pensées musicales, Op. 1, No. 1, which appeared in the December 1905 issue, only one month after Stojowski had first stepped foot on American soil. Stojowski's last contribution to The Etude would be his article "What the Pianist of Tomorrow Must Possess," published in 1940. Thus, Stojowski's association with The Etude lasted for 35 of his 40 years in the USA and for nearly half the lifespan of the magazine itself.

Some of the other publications, for which Stojowski wrote and which are no longer familiar to today's reader are the following:

  • Poland America magazine, published between the two World Wars by the New York-based American Polish Chamber of Commerce & Industry, of which Stojowski was an associate member;
  • The Polish Review (for which Stojowski served as president), a weekly magazine published during the Second World War with the assistance of the Polish Government Information Center (this publication was distinct from the scholarly quarterly of the same name issued by the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America since 1945);
  • Bulletin of Stojowski Students' Association, a publication first started in 1931 and lasting until the composer's death in 1946, printed in New York and edited by the composer's former students; and
  • Keyboard, a professional magazine for teachers of piano based in New Haven; Stojowski was one of its editorial advisors.

The effort Stojowski put into these articles deserves admiration. How many of today's pianists and composers could sit down and write a 16-page paper on their native land's musical history as Stojowski did in his 1925 article "The Music of Poland"? How many would even want to be bothered to see the need for accepting such a task? This is certainly what Stojowski must have felt as being his responsibility toward his newly reborn homeland - to share the wealth of Poland's musical tradition with the people of the United States - a task which he took upon himself on his own initiative.


Paderewski on the cover of The Etude, 1915. PMC.


Stojowski's Writings


  • The Art of Chopin (unpublished lecture notes). Zygmunt and Louisa Stojowski Collection [hereafter ZLSC], 6 typewritten pages.

  • "Chopin." The Polish Review 3 no. 18 (May 17, 1943): 8-10, 14.

  • The Chopin Mazurkas (Annotated commentary to an unpublished edition of the Mazurkas), (1945-46); ca. 50 single-spaced typewritten pages, ZLSC.

  • "Chopin Program Address" (an address given for Polish Relief Benefit at the Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts after an All-Chopin Program on December 9, 1939). Bulletin of the Stojowski Students' Association. (January 1940): 3-4, ZLSC.

  • "Chopin's 'First Impromptu'" (A Master Lesson). The Etude 33 no. 2 (February 1915): 107-109.

  • "Chopin's 'Military Polonaise'" (A Master Lesson). The Etude 44 no. 2 (February 1926): 110-113.

  • Chopin's Piano Music. [Typewritten lecture notes for one of Stojowski's Juilliard Summer School lecture-recital courses, dating sometime from 1943-1946], ca. 100 pages; first two pages missing. ZLSC.

  • Death Certificate. Slonimsky Collection, Box 236, Folder 14, Library of Congress.

  • "Dwa oblicza postępu w muzyce" [Two aspects of progress in music]. Muzyka 14 no. 6 (June 1937): 186-188.

  • "Evolution of Style and Interpretation in Piano Literature" (summary of a course given at the summer session of the Juilliard Institute of Musical Art). Keyboard 2 no. 4 (November 1940): 2-3, 43-44, 47. Reprinted online in The Polish Music Journal vol. 4 no. 1 (2001). Annotated by Maja Trochimczyk, http://www.usc.edu/dept/polish_music/PMJ/issues.html.

  • "The Future of Futurism?" The Etude 34 no. 5 (May 1916): 332.

  • Glimpses of Polish History (a prologue to the historical pageant A Night in Poland given at the Hotel Biltmore on Thursday, April 8, 1915, by the American Relief Committee of New York). New York Public Library, microfilm of printed program: 7 pages.

  • "The Greatness That Was Paderewski." The Polish Review 5 no. 2? (August 9, 1943): 13-14.

  • "Greetings to Paderewski from the 'Koło Polskie'" [Polish Circle]. An Album of Greetings to Paderewski on the Tenth Anniversary of the Independence of Poland. New York: The Kosciuszko Foundation, 1928.

  • "Has the Art of the Piano Reached Its Zenith or Is It Capable of Further Development?" (Conference of a group of the foremost pianists of the day, including Stojowski, Alberto Jonás, Grainger, Bauer, Hofman, Gabrilowitsch, Hutchison and Lambert.) The Etude 37 no. 2 (February 1919): 79.

  • "Ignacy Jan Paderewski," in Harriette Brower, Piano Mastery: Talks with Master Pianists and Teachers New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1915, 2-11.

  • "In Honor of Paderewski." (An address given at the Cosmopolitan Club in Montclair, NJ, on October 18, 1941). Bulletin of the Stojowski Students' Association (December 1941): 1-2.

  • Letter to Paderewski, October 19, 1905. Paderewski Archives, File 3702, AAN.

  • Letter to Paderewski, April 20, 1938, Paderewski Archives, File 3702, AAN.

  • Letters to Feliks Łabuński. K-LXXXIII/40, K-LXXXIII/65 and K-LXXXIII/68 (1945-1946). Warsaw University Library, Archives of 20th Century Polish Composers.

  • "Mendelssohn's "Rondo Capriccioso" (A Master Lesson). The Etude 31 no. 12 (December 1913): 864-871.

  • "Mendelssohn's 'Spinning Song, Op. 67, No. 4'" (A Master Lesson). The Etude 34 no. 11 (November 1916): 783-784.

  • "Mind in Piano Study," in Piano Mastery: Talks with Master Pianists and Teachers by Harriette Brower. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1915, 25-31.

  • "The Music of Poland." Poland America 6 no. 8 (August 1925) and 6, no. 9 (September 1925): 455-458, 486-490, 527-529, and 558-561.

  • "Mozart's "Fantasia in D Minor'" (A Master Lesson). The Etude 32 no. 5 (May 1914): 346-349.

  • "An Open Letter" (to the Students' Association about his 1929 trip to Poland). Stojowski Students' Association Bulletin (1929); only the typewritten manuscript exists in the ZLSC.

  • On Performing a Chopin Mazurka (Commentary on Mazurka in C Minor, Op. 30, No. 1). Clavier 9 no. 9 (December 1970): 20-21.

  • "Outline of Polish Music." Poland America 13 no. 5 (May 1932): 204- 13.

  • Paderewski Anniversary 1945 (A five-page typewritten text of a radio interview with Stojowski and Mr. Milo). Family Archives, 5 pages.

  • "Paderewski as I Knew Him (1884-1941)," in Marguerite Merington, Intimate Memories of Paderewski (An unpublished biography), Marguerite Merington Papers, Collection No. 43, Folder No. 16, 18 pages. New York: Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences Archives [hereafter: PIASA].

  • "Paderewski, the Unique" (written on Paderewski's 75th Anniversary). Poland America 13 no. 5 (May 1932): 221-223.

  • "Paderewski w świetle moich wspomnień i wierzeń" [Paderewski in the light of my memories and beliefs]. Życie Muzyczne i Teatralne no. 5/6 (1935): 5-11. Trans. by Marek Żebrowski and reprinted online in the current issue of the Polish Music Journal, http://www.usc.edu/dept/polish_music/PMJ/index.html.

  • "Poland's Struggle." The North American Review (Jan/June 1920).

  • "Polish Music Festival at Carnegie Hall" (excerpt of an address given on May 4, 1944). The Polish Review 4 no. 17 (May 3, 1944): 15.

  • "Postęp prawdziwy i urojony" [Real and imaginary progress]. Muzyka 9 no. 3/4 (March/April 1932): 74-76.

  • "Practice as Art." The Etude 55 no. 9 (September 1937): 565-566, 614, 616.

  • "Prawda psychologiczna w muzyce" [The psychological truth in music]. Muzyka 6 no. 4 (April 20, 1929): 197-200.

  • Program Notes for the Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York's 4th Young People's Concert, December 29, 1930, with pianist Ignacy J. Paderewski, Ernest Schilling conducting, Carnegie Hall. Program: Noskowski - Symphonic Poem Step, Op. 66; Stojowski Intermčde Polonaise from Suite, Op. 9; Paderewski (arr. Henryk Opieński) Deux Danses Montagnardes from Tatra Album, Op. 12 & Concerto in A Minor, Op. 17; Chopin:Selected Piano Pieces.

  • "Recollections of Brahms." Musical Quarterly 19 (April 1933): 143-150.

  • Résumé. Biographical Data (ca. 1919), four typewritten pages with penned corrections and additions in the margins. ZLSC.

  • Résumé. Biographical Notes (posthumous ca. 1947), two typewritten pages. ZLSC.

  • Résumé. Untitled Résumé (ca. 1940), one typewritten page intended for the U.S. Immigration Service.

  • "Revealing the Composer's Hidden Meaning" [An interview]. The Etude 29 no. 9 (September 1911): 591-592.

  • "Romantyzm w dobie współczesnej" (Romanticism in contemporary times). Muzyka 5 no. 7/9 (July/September 1932): 99-100.

  • "Rubinstein's 'Barcarole in F Minor'" (A Master Lesson). The Etude 31 no 1 (January 1913): 28,72.

  • "Schubert-Liszt's 'Hark, Hark, the Lark''" (A Master Lesson). The Etude 33 no. 2 (February 1914): pp. 106, 135.

  • "Schubert's 'Moment Musical in F Minor'" (A Master Lesson). The Etude 31 no. 4 (April 1913): 258.

  • "Schumann's 'Nachtstück in F Major'" (A Master Lesson). The Etude 31 no. 5 (May 1913).

  • "A Tribute to Ernest Schelling." Bulletin of Stojowski Students' Association (January 1940): 2-3. ZLSC.

  • W 95. Rocznicę. [On the 95th Anniversary]. Słowo wstępne do rekordów muzyki Chopina nadanych przez Office of War Information do Polski Walczącej ku uczczeniu pamięci Chopina zmarłego dnia 17. października 1849 roku. [A written introduction to the recordings of Chopin's music broadcast by the Office of War Information to Poland-at-War, in honor of the memory of Chopin, who passed away on October 17, 1849.] (October 1944), 4 typewritten pages. ZLSC.

  • "Wezwanie na koncert 4 maja" [An appeal for the 4th of May concert]. Tygodnik Polski -The Polish Weekly 2 no. 18 [70] (April 30, 1944): 11.

  • "What Interpretation Really Is," in Great Pianists on Piano Playing by Francis Cooke. Philadelphia: Theo. Presser Co., ca. 1917, (Reprint. New York: AMS Press, 1966): 279-287. [Preceded on p. 278 with a biographical sketch followed by a one-page, unnumbered portraiture photograph of ZS.]

  • What is Music?, 2 typewritten pages. ZLSC.

  • "What the Pianist of Tomorrow Must Posses." The Etude 53 no. 11 (November 1940): 730, 771.

  • "Wherever There Is No Music, Life Also Ceases" (An address given in April 1944 at the Polish Consulate in New York). Bulletin of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America, 2 no. 4 (July 1944): 1197-1200. Reprinted in Polish Music Journal 4 no. 1 (2001), as "Music and Life - An Address" with notes by Maja Trochimczyk.

  • "W imię prawdy w dźwiękach" [In the name of truth in sounds]. Muzyka 5 no. 10 (January 20, 1928): 15-18; [Part 2] 7 no. 10 (October 20, 1929): 430-435.

  • "Względność prawdy a szczerość ideału" [The Relativity of truth and the sincerity of the ideal]. Muzyka 5 no. 3 (March 20, 1928): 104-111.



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    Herter: The Life of Stojowski
    Stojowski's Performances with Orchestra
    Annotated Catalogue of Stojowski's Music
    Stojowski - Bibliography
    Stojowski on Paderewski
    Stojowski on Chopin's Impromptu
    Selected Reviews of Stojowski's Concerts
    Selected Program Notes on Stojowski
    Notes about the Authors
    PMJ - Current Issue
    PMJ - Archives


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    Copyright 2002 by Joseph A. Herter.
    Editor: Maja Trochimczyk. Assistant Editor: Linda Schubert.
    Publisher: Polish Music Center, Winter 2002.
    Design: Maja Trochimczyk & Marcin Depinski.
    Comments and inquiries by e-mail: polmusic@email.usc.edu