Polish Music Newsletter

December 2002, vol. 8, no. 12. ISSN 1098 - 9188. Published monthly.
Los Angeles: Polish Music Center, University of Southern California

Anniversaries | Discography | Events | Paderewski's Return to Poland
News | Internet News | Recent Performances | Polish Music Journal

NEWS



GORECKI'S WORLD PREMIERE

The world premiere of Mikolaj Henryk Gorecki's "Quasi una fantasia" for great string orchestra, Op. 78 took place on 23 October in Madrid, Spain for the "Polish Year in Spain," with the National Symphony Orchestra of Polish Radio conducted by Gabriel Chmura. Gorecki's Third Symphony was also performed with Zofia Kilanowicz in the soprano part. The composer was the honored guest at the event.


POLISH YEAR IN SALZBURG

World premieres of music by Pawel Mykietyn (Harpsichord Concerto) and Zbigniew Bargielski (Płonący kryształ [Flaming Crystal]) for harpsichord and tape, took place in October. The soloist was Elzbieta Chojnacka performing with the Austrian Ensemble for New Music directed by Wojciech Michniewski. Also heard: Gorecki's "Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings" and "Kleines Requiem fur eine Polka."

MEYER PREMIERE IN SWITZERLAND

Piano duo Adrienne Soós and Ivo Haag gave the first performance of a new two pino piece by Krzysztof Meyer, Impromptu multicolore. The concert tooki place in the new Concert Hall of Lucerne in the framework of "Lucerne Festival Piano." For more information see the festival web site: www.lucernefestival.ch or the performers' web site: www.klavierduo.ch.


WORLD PREMIERE IN KATOWICE

A coalminer's mass "Msza gornicza" by Andrzej Marko was performed for the first time in Katowice at St. Peter & Paul Church. The symphony orchestra of coal mine "Staszic" was led by Grzegorz Marzwinski. Choirs from the Krakow Music Academy under the direction of Krystyna Krzyzanowska-Laboda and the High School from Bytom prepared by Jolanta Sznajder were joined by soloists Julita Miroslawska, sop.; Veronika Hanowa, mezzo; tenors Father Pawel Sobierajski and Maciej Komandera, and baritone Artur Rucinski.


7TH FESTIVAL OF POLISH COMPOSERS

The VIIth Festival of Polish Composers, under the auspices of Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki, devoted this year's 4-day event to Poland's first symphonist, Mieczyslaw Karlowicz. His popular Violin Concerto featured Konstanty Kulka. The Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Jacek Blaszczyk also performed the symphonic poem Eternal Songs, while the Polish National Radio Orchestra conducted by Gabriel Chmura ended the festival with Koscielec 1909. This is the name of one of Tatra's mountain peaks.

CHOPIN CONFERENCE AT THE NATIONAL CHOPIN INSTITUTE

On 6-7 December at the National Library in Warsaw, Poland, an international conference of Chopin experts will take place with the following program. The conference is organized by the National Fryderyk Chopin Institute, directed by Grzegorz Michalski.

Friday, 6 December. SESSION 1: INSPIRATIONS AND CONTEXTS

  • Jan Steszewski: "Fryderyk Chopin i kontekst jego twórczego procesu" [F. Chopin and the context of his creative process]
  • Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger: "Autour de l'Allegretto en LA/la"
  • Mieczysław Tomaszewski: "Chopinowskie inspiracje polską piesnią powszechną" [Chopin's inspiration with Polish popular song]

    Friday, 6 December SESSION 2: SOURCES AND SOURCE EDITIONS

  • Zofia Chechlinska: "Typy i kategorie róznic tekstowych w autografach i pierwodrukach Chopina" [Types and categories of textual differences in manuscripts and first prints of Chopin's works]
  • John Rink: "Chopin Copying Chopin"
  • Pawel Kaminski: "Między dziełem a zródłem. Redagowanie "Urtekstu" w aspekcie teoretycznym i praktycznym" [Between the work and the source: Editing Urtext in theoretical and practical aspects]
  • Christophe Grabowski: "Les éditions anglaises des œuvres de Chopin - une mise ŕ jour documentaire"

    Saturday, 7 December. SESSION 3: UNFINISHED AND INCOMPLETE COMPOSITIONS

  • Jeffrey Kallberg: "Chopin and the Fragment"
  • Maciej Golab: "Drogi donikąd - uwagi o porzuconych myślach muzycznych Chopina" [Ways nowhere - remarks about Chopin's abandoned musical thoughts]
  • Wojciech Nowik: "W poszukiwaniu Chopinowskiej wersji pieśni 'Pieszczotka'" [Searching for Chopin's version of the song "Darling"]
  • Jim Samson: "Chopin's Violin Sonata"

    Saturday, 7 December. SESSION 4: FACSIMILE EDITIONS AND NIFC PROGRAMS

  • Presentation of new programs of NIFC, including the project, Chopin's Works: Facsimile Edition. This is a complete edition of all available Chopin manuscripts.


    CHOPIN AND FRIENDS FESTIVAL IN NEW YORK

    Two final events of the 4th International Chopin & Friends Festival took place on Sunday, November 24th. At 2pm in Weill Recital Hall, Canegie Hall (57th St. & 7th Ave. NYC), three pianists, Polish, Italian and French, presented a program of compositions of Chopin and the composers that followed Chopin's heritage including Brahms, Schumann, Debussy and Prokofiev.

  • Nina Kuzma-Sapiejewska - pianist "rare artistry and true virtuoso" Internationally known Polish-American pianist, graduate of the Academy of Music in Gdansk and the Juilliard School in New York, her primary focus is on the romantic repertory. In this concert Nina will present works by Chopin and Schumann.
  • Vittorio Costa - pianist "distinctive classicist - refined artist" Italian pianist, graduate of the "Conservatorio G.B. Martini" in Bologna, specializing in solo and chamber music; artistic director of J.S. Bach Competition in Italy and Summer Festival of Chamber Music in Sestri Levante, also Professor of Chamber Music in Sassari, Sardegna. Vittorio Costa will present Chopin and Brahms.
  • Michel Bourdoncle - pianist "extraordinary piano virtuoso and superb musician" French pianist, graduated with first prize in piano and chamber music from the Paris and Moscow Conservatories. Laureate of International Competition for Contemporary Music and Liszt International Competition in Utrecht, Holland. Artistic director of International Festival "Les Nuits Pianistiques" in Aix-en-Provence, France. At this gala concert Michel Bourdoncle will present Chopin, Debussy and Prokofiev. Tickets: $20 Carnegie Charge, tel. 212-247-7800.

    On Sunday, November 24th at 7:30pm in Europa Club (98-104 Meserole Ave. in Brooklyn), Elephunk - a powerful Big Band with a strong groove, dynamic soloists and challenging arrangements. A blend of jazz, funk and Latin. Guest Artists: Hyonok Kim - avant-garde choreographer and dancer Hyonok Kim is an award winning choreographer and dancer. She studied the- ater and dance at Seoul Institute of Art and studied modern dance, Martha Graham technique, classic ballet and modern Jazz at the Sorbonne, Paris. Her PH.D is from Universite de Paris, Sorbonne. Among her many honors: the Gold Prize at the Dance on Camera Festival, New York 1992; First Prize at the Spain Teruel International Video Competition in 1991; the Minister of Culture of South Korea Award in 1994. She has performed in 18 countries in Asia, Europe, and North and South America. Continuation of Open Cycle Exhibition - Curator: Janusz Skowron. Admission: $10, for students with ID before 8pm is free. Detailed schedule of the festival can be viewed at: http://www.nydai.org/Progr am/ Program.htm

    VII FESTIVAL AND COMPETITION OF JAZZ GUITARISTS

    The Seventh Festival and Competition of Jazz Guitarists, named after Marek Bliziński will take place between 10 and 16 December in Warsaw, Poland. The Festival program includes the following concerts:

    • 10 Dec: Jazz Cafe w Łomiankach - "Marek Napiórkowski Quartet"
    • 11 Dec: Natoliński O?rodek Kultury - "Piotr Lemański Kwartet"
    • 12 Dec: Jazz Club Remont - Mirosław "Carlos" Kaczmarczyk & Loud Jazz Band - "Norwegian Ediction" - Erik Johannessen, Michael Bloch, Knut Lochsen, Kristian Edvardsen, Oyvind Myhre i Piotr Iwicki
    • 13 Dec: Jazz Club "Metro"- Brandon Furman Quartet
    • 14 Dec: Jazz Club Remont - Konkurs Mistrzowski Gitarzystów Jazzowych Jury: J.?mietana, D.Kozakiewicz, J. Popławski, P. Lemański,
    • 14 Dec: Kino "?wiatowid" - Mińsk Mazowiecki - Jon Herrington Quartet
    • 14 Dec: Jazz Club Remont - David "Fuze" Fiuczynski Quartet -Lars Danielsson, Jacek Kochan, Sławomir Jaskułke
    • 15 Dec: Jazz Club Remont - Warsztaty Gitarowe - David Fiuczynski
    • 15 Dec: Studio Muzyczne "Trójki" im. Agnieszki Osieckiej Awards ceremony. Performing: Janusz Strobel & Mariusz "Fazi" Mielczarek - Mirosław "Carlos" Kaczmarczyk & LJB "Norwegian Edition" - David "Fuze" Fiuczynski Quartet - John Herrington Quartet
    • 16 Dec: Jazz Club Remont - Warsztaty Gitarowe - John Herrington Quartet
    For tickets and more information contact: tel: 22-6609111;
    e-mail: guitarcity@guitarcity.net
    www.guitarcity.prv.pl ; www.fusion.pl


    BRODSKI AND PRONKO IN MISSISSAUGA

    The Celebrity Symphony Orchestra presents another New Year concert at the Living Arts Centre, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. The concert features Vadim Brodski, world-famous violin virtuoso, who won first place in all of the international competitions he entered, including the Paganini Competition in Italy (1984). Vadim Brodski was born in Kiev (Ukraine), a region famous for giving birth to such great violinist as David Oistrach and Isaac Stern. In 1981 he moved to Poland, where he started his international carrier. Since 1985 Mr. Brodski makes his second home in Italy. He plays on a violin by Gennaro Gagliano, made in 1747. V. Brodski’s repertoire contains over 40 violin concertos from Bach to contemporary music. He will perform Saint-Saens's Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, along with songs from his most recent recording, an arrangement of music for violin and orchestra from the legendary The Beatles.

    Also performing is Krystyna Pronko a legendary singer from Warsaw, Poland who has sold hundreds of thousands of records, and is hailed the “First Lady of Polish Jazz.” Joined by Karolina Ingleton, Canadian rising pop star, and the 45-pieces Celebrity Symphony Orchestra conducted by charismatic Andrew Rozbicki, Viva Carnival 2003 promises to be an unforgettable evening of classical, jazz, and contemporary music. Tickets are: $38, $45, $55 at Box Office Living Arts Centre Mississauga. Call (905) 306-6000 or toll-free 1-888 805-8888.

    4141 Living Arts Drive, Mississauga ON,
    Hwy 403 and Hwy 10 (West of Square One). Free Parking.
    Info: www.rozbicki.com



  • INTERNET NEWS


    SZYMANOWSKI GROUP'S SITES OF THE MONTH

    Dayle Vander Sande sent the following information to all the members of the Karol Szymanowski Yahoo Group dedicated to discussing the life and music of the great composer.

      SITES OF THE MONTH:
    1. Koledy and Pastoralki - The origin of Polish Christmas carols, original MIDI arrangements of three carols, links to more, and some Polish flavor to enjoy - literally! http://www.christmasarchives.com/polishcarols.html
    2. The Aria Chorus #303 of the Polish Singers Alliance of America - This is the site of my Polish-American chorus, a community group hailing from Wallington, New Jersey (a community that is 98% Polish-American!). Information about our Christmas CD of koledy "Songbook for a Polish Christmas" can be found here. http://www.AriaChorus.org
    3. Completorivm: Polish Early Mvsic - A fantastic site exhibiting a passion for its subject matter. Check out this page boasting an extensive MIDI collection of Polish Christmas Carols from the Baroque back to the Middle Ages. http://zeus.polsl.gliwice.pl/~jarczyk//early/carols.htm




    POLISH MUSIC JOURNAL
    Vol. 5 No. 1, Summer 2002
    BACEWICZ AND WILK PRIZES 2001

    The summer 2002 issue of the Polish Music Journal is now available from: www.usc.edu/polish_music/PMJ/issue/5.1.02/contents.html.

    The volume presents the winners of the 2001 edition of the Wilk Prizes for Research in Polish Music (Essay Competition). The winners, Adrian Thomas in Professional Category, Sławomir Dobrzański and Katarzyna Grochowska in the Student Category, discuss music from the 17th to the 20th century. Their texts are accompanied by bibliographies. Judith Rosen's 1983 study of Grażyna Bacewicz, with a foreword by Witold Lutosławski is the featured article, reprinted from Vol. 2 in the Polish Music History Series (out of print). The abstracts of articles and the table of contents are included below.

    • Sławomir DOBRZANSKI: "Maria Szymanowska and Fryderyk Chopin: Parallelisms and Influence"
      The article (awarded the 2001 Wilk Prize in Student Category ex aequo with Grochowska) provides a summary of historical research on possible personal contacts between Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) and Maria Szymanowska (1789-1831). Although there is no direct evidence of an actual meeting between them, several documents and historical circumstances suggest that both composers must have known each other personally. The main body of the article is devoted to a comparative analysis of musical styles of both the composers and to the possible influence of Szymanowska's compositions on Chopin's musical language. Although some of the research is based on previous insights of musicologists such as Maria Iwanejko and George Golos, the author suggests some new possible comparisons. Especially noteworthy is a brief analysis of the melodic material in Polonaises by Oginski, Szymanowska, and earliest Polonaises by Chopin. Szymanowska's works discussed in the text include Vingt Exercises et Preludes, Waltzes, Songs, Mazurkas, dances, and 2 Nocturnes
    • Katarzyna GROCHOWSKA: "From Milan to Gdańsk: The Story of a Dedication"

      This article (awarded the 2001 Wilk Prize in Student Category, ex aequo with Dobrzanski) takes up the task of explaining the route by which a Gdansk singer, Constantia Czirenberg, became the dedicatee of Milanese publisher Filippo Lomazzo's 1626 motet anthology, Flores Praestantissimorum virorum. The main tools used for this study are the 17th-century travel diaries and itineraries of Charles Ogier and Prince Władysław IV Waza, both friends and admirers of Czirenberg. While tracing the possible connections between Czirenberg, Lomazzo and Władysław IV Waza, the author concludes that it was the Polish prince who initiated Lomazzo's dedication. This conclusion offers a new perspective on Władysław's well-known music patronage, which this time took place outside the royal court.

    • Judith ROSEN: "Grażyna Bacewicz: Her Life and Works"

      This article is an online reprint of a monograph published in 1983 by the Friends of Polish Music at the University of Southern California. The monograph, the first book in English about the noted Polish composer, emphasizes the importance of her place in contemporary music. It discusses her significance as a composer, whose works not only bridged the gap between neo-romanticism and modernism, but also paved the way for the pursuit of new music by the next generation of composers. During her brief life (1909-1969) she lived through the eras of pre- and post- World War II with the accompanying musical freedoms and restrictions. Her musical gifts, both as composer and performer, and her exceptional strength of character are explored in a discussion of her life. The large quantity and excellence of her compositional output (in spite of the difficult times in which she lived) are highlighted with quotes from well-known personages and interesting anecdotes. The original monograph included an introduction by Witold Lutosławski as well as extensive lists of compositions and recordings and a selected bibliography. The present edition contains Lutosławski's introduction, a different selection of illustrations than in the original edition, and an updated bibliography by Maja Trochimczyk and James Harley.

    • Adrian THOMAS: "File750: composers, Politics, and the Festival of Polish Music (1951)"

      This article (awarded the 2001 Wilk Prize in Professional Category) is based on a file at the Archiwum Akt Nowych in Warsaw, in which details of the commissioning process for the 1951 Festival of Polish Music are contained. File 750 contains documents and letters to and from composers, who in Spring 1950, were invited by the Polish Composers' Union to submit proposals to the Ministry of Culture and Art for works to be included in the Festival. What emerges is an insight into the lives of over 50 Polish composers at a crucial point in the period of "socrealizm." Composers responded to requests for concert music and music of mass appeal in different ways, giving different reasons for their requests for subvention by the Ministry. And the Ministry responded by handing out support which ranged from one-off payments to minor composers to larger amounts spread over several months to more prominent figures. The responses of two composers - Panufnik and Lutosławski - are given special attention because of the new lines of inquiry their letters provoke. The information they contain - and that gleaned in consequence from other contemporary sources - is both surprising and controversial. In both cases, subsequent research will require a revised consideration of the composers' unenviable positions as creative artists in a controlling political context.

    • Documentation:
      • Sławomir Dobrzański: Maria Szymanowska - Bibliography
      • James Harley, Martina Homma, and Maja Trochimczyk: Witold Lutosławski - Bibliography
      • Maja Trochimczyk: Andrzej Panufnik - Bibliography
      • Maja Trochimczyk and James Harley: Grażyna Bacewicz - Bibliography


    PILSUDSKI INSTITUTE OF AMERICA

    The Pilsudski Institute of America for Research in the Modern History of Poland (based on 180 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10003-5778) announces the creation of its new bilinbual web site at www.pilsudski.org

    The Pilsudski Institute, located in New York, has passed the half-century mark as a foremost archival and research institution dedicated to the study of Poland and Central Europe. It is the repository of valuable materials and documents on Poland's history in the twentieth century including the period of Solidarity. Outside of Poland, its archives and a library are second only to the Hoover Institution in California in the size and depth of coverage of contemporary Polish history. The Institute's collection of over 200 Polish paintings and objects of art is a significant cultural resource for the understanding and promotion of Polish cultural heritage. The Institute is an independent, non-political, non-profit educational institution (*), beholden to no one, supported by the generosity of its members whose dues, donations and testamentary bequests.


    JERZY GABLENZ RADIO BROADCAST

    On Monday November 11th at 6:30PM EST tune in to http://cbc.ca/musicforawhile/ (CBC Radio Two) on the internet and listen to a broadcast of Enchanted Lake, Opus 29.

    Website: http://home.eol.ca/~dgablenz/



    BETTINA SKRZYPCZAK SITE

    Polish composer Bettina Skrzypczak, born 1962 in Poznan and living now in Switzerland has a new web site. You can find all necessary information about her at the website http://www.bettina-skrzypczak.com, included an English biography and portrait.

    Her music is issued by the music publisher Ricordi (Germany), Ricordi also will have her first CD being issued in January 2003 (see information on the recordings page at www.bettina-skrzypczak.com)

    CLASSICAL.COM SITE

    Classical.com is one of the world's leading online classical music services, offering a large resource of reference material has a web site at Classical.com. This is a commercial site (subscription) offering listening, downloads, custom CDs, and a huge resource of entertaining information to expand your classical music knowledge. http://www.classical.com



    DISCOGRAPHY

    by Wanda Wilk

    TOP TEN DISCS OF THE DECADE

    Recordings of Gorecki's Third Symphony (Nonesuch, with Zinman and Upshaw) and Polish composer Stanislaw Skrowaczewski conducting Bruckner's Symphonies have been selected as the Top 10 Discs of the Decade in the BBC Music Magazine, November issue.


    BBC MUSIC'S PICK OF THE MONTH

    The BBC Music Magazine's picks of the month included, in the orchestral category: Szymanowski, Janacek and Haas String Quartets arranged for orchestra. Erik Levi writes: "Three string quartets arranged for orchestra survive unscathed thanks to the Australian Chamber Orchestra's dazzling playing." Richard Tognetti's "transcription ...is convincing in almost every respect, the performers effecting a miraculous unanimity of ensemble while achieving the necessary elements of spontaneity and urgency...in the Szymanowski...makes one instantly forget that the work was originally conceived for only four players." Chandos CHAN 10016 received 5 stars.

    This disc is also reviewed in the Gramophone Award Issue by Ivan March, who praises the Szymanowski and Haas quartets. "The sensuous textures of Szymanowski's Second Quartet, too, seem enhanced, when the playing yearns with underlying intensity without becoming over-voluptuous." In the instrumental category, the BBC picks of the month include: Chopin: Etudes, Opp. 10 & 25. Murray Perahia, piano. Reviewed by Adrian Jack who gives it 5 stars and says, "Perahia's long-awaited recording of the 24 Etudes emphasises the music's emotional content as much as its technical challenges." Jack states that the "wait has certainly been worth it. Not only are these 24 pieces still the cornerstone of modern piano technique, but they are also - and it's been said often enough - great music which satisfies our deepest spiritual needs, whose textural innovations and harmonic adventures still amaze."

    This disc is also selected as the Editor's Choice and "Record of the Month" by the November Gramophone magazine. Bryce Morrison writes that this is "artistry of the highest calibre. Listen and wonder at such unalloyed perfection."


    BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE REVIEWS

  • The Divine Art 25018 Panufnik: 12 Miniature Studies, Pentasonata, etc... & Shostakovich. Raymond Clarke,, piano. Erik Levi writes that the pianist has "long been associated with both of these composers, and gave the first London performance of Pentasonata in 1989. He is particularly good at creating a sense of atmosphere in the delicate passages of these works. The recording, made at the University of Newcastle, is warm and ambient, but an out-of-tune octave at the end of the first Panufnik study proves a little disconcerting." Rating: 4 stars.

  • Zayas Masterworks ZMICD 102 Chopin: Piano Sonatas, etc... Pianist Juana Zayas gets high marks from Jeremy Siepmann (5 stars) for this and for the other CD ZMICD 101 where she plays works by Bach/Busoni, Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt & Debussy. Never heard of this artist before, but according to Siepmann "this is a musician deserving of the highest respect."

    GRAMOPHONE REVIEWS

  • RCA Red Seal 09026 63836-2 Music for clarinet by Lutoslawski, Nielsen and Prokofiev. Lutoslawski: Dance Preludes. Richard Stoltzman, cl. Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Lawrence Leighton Smith, cond. Reviewer David Fanning says that Stoltzman's "compilation is a fine achievement and described the "recording quality outstanding."

  • Naxos Historical Mono 8 110684. Ignaz Friedman. Complete Recordings, vol. 1 These are superbly remastered by Ward Marston from English and American Columbia originals recorded from 1922-1953. In this first volume of the pianist's pianist, Ignaz Friedman, plays miscellaneous Chopin, Moszkowski's "Serenata," Op. 15 no. 1 and his own composition, "Elle danse," Op. 10, no. 5.


    RATTLE TO RECORD SZYMANOWSKI

    According to Gramophone Sir Simon Rattle will soon join his former City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra to record Szymanowski's "Love Songs of Hafiz" and the ballet, "Harnasie" on EMI. Looks like the new conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic will soon have recorded most of Szymanowski's works. Hopefully, he will garner awards for these as well.


    AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE REVIEWS

  • Artek 11 Szymanowski, Chopin, Wieniawski Violin pieces. Aaron Rosand, v. Hugh Sung, p. Joseph Magil calls it "a beautifully played, well-conceived recital of Polish music that Rosand dedicates to his father, who was born in Lowicz, Poland at the turn of the last century. His father started him on the violin and sacrificed during the Great Depression to pay for violin lessons for his son... Rosand plays the same Guarnerius del Gesu violin that was played by Paul Kochanski, the violinist who worked with Szymanowski to arrange and compose his music for violin."

  • Two Chopin CDs are reviewed: One by Russian pianist Vladimir Feltsman (Urtext 48) and one by 27-year old Hungarian Gergely Boganji (Ondine 1008). David Mulbury reviews both and has much praise for them. Feltsman's playing of "these fascinating and magical works (alll nocturnes, a barcarolle and berceuse) is "impressive...overall the performances are examplary." Boganyi's "technique is one of conspicuous brilliance,, and the sensitivity and color-consciousness are impressive " despite some flaws, "this set ranks among the best of these etudes by younger pianists."

  • Innova 568 Skrowaczewski: Musica a Quattro, String Trio, Fantasie per sei, etc... Music by this distinguished conductor is certainly played with lots of passion by the Ensemble Capriccio. Mark L. Lehman thinks the "String Trio" is probably the best as a complete composition.

  • DUX 374. String Quartets of Baird, Penderecki, Knapik, Zielinski and Mayer. Dafo Quartet. This release by the Polish label DUX is a welcome addition to the repertoire. The Dafo Quartet is made up of Polish women musicians. Allen Gimbel calls Tadeusz Baird's "Play" a "once fairly famous piece of Eastern European avant-gardism," identifies the first quartet of Maciej Zielinski (b. 1971) as the work "of a talented student." He is mostly impressed with the "terrific Eighth Quartet by Krzysztof Meyer (b. 1943)...written in 1985, this composer is firmly in control at all times and has produced a masterly journey that makes me wonder why I was not more familiar with his name. All of these pieces are given world class performances by this superb young group. I look forward to hearing more from them." For those of you who also are not familiar with K. Meyer, he was the president of the Polish Composers Union (1985-1989), has won numerous prizes in composition and was on the faculty at the Music Academy in Cracow (1966-87) and since then has been a professor at the Hochschule fur music in Cologne.



  • PADEREWSKI'S RETURN TO POLAND

    by Ambassador Edward L. Rowny


    Paderewski, 2002 Booklet by Instytut Adama Mickiewicza, Poland

    Inspired by Chopin's idea of burying his heart where his love was, the dying Paderewski told his sister, Antonia Wilkonska, that no matter what happened to his body, his heart should remain in the United States. President Roosevelt, wishing to bestow the nation's highest honor on Paderewski, ordered that he be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. When Henry Stimson, the Secretary of War, told him that only U.S. citizens could be buried at Arlington, Roosevelt directed that Paderewski's body be interred in a crypt surrounding Arlington's Mast of the Battleship Maine, to lie there until Poland was once again free. For the next several years, Paderewski devotees pondered the mystery, where is Paderewski's heart? While his body was being prepared for burial at Arlington National Cemetery, his heart was removed and disappeared. Paderewski's sister died two years later and his longtime agent continued to search for the heart. Years later, by a stroke of luck, one of Lech Walesa's American relatives saw the initials I.J.P. on a crypt while visiting a cemetery in New York. The caretaker confirmed that it did indeed held Paderewski's heart. In 1986, under the auspices of the Polish-American Congress, the heart was removed from this cemetery and placed in a shrine dedicated to his patron saint, Our Lady of Czestochowa, in Doylestown, Pa..

    Meanwhile, Paderewski's body lay in the crypt of the Mast of the Maine for two decades, a fact known only to a few. A Paul Hume article in the Washington Post alerted President John F. Kennedy to the sad fact that only few people knew that the crypt contained Paderewski's remains. Kennedy directed that a marker be placed at the crypt's entrance. By a remarkable coincidence, JFK ordered me, the senior Polish-American in uniform, back from Vietnam to witness the unveiling of the marker. President Kennedy, in a moving speech, declared that artists, as free spirits, are uniquely qualified to promote democracy through the arts and education. A tape of this speech is one of my most prized possessions.

    In 1981, as President Reagan's chief Arms Control Negotiator, I prevailed upon him to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Paderewski's death. There was a stirring ceremony at the amphitheater of Arlington National Cemetery, overlooking the mast of the Maine. Lane Kirkland, President of AFL-CIO, pledged the active support of American Labor to Lech Walesa's Solidarity movement. President Reagan, referring to President Kennedy's speech two decades earlier, reiterated Paderewski's philosophy that democracy could be promoted by the arts and education. He promised to support Solidarity in wresting Poland from Soviet domination and to return Paderewski's body to a free Poland.

    In 1985, serving as President Reagan's Special Advisor on Arms Control, I was sent behind the Iron Curtain to brief the communist leaders of Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary. When I asked General Jaruzielski if I could speak to Lech Walesa he said "I take note of that." I told Walesa about President Reagan's strong support for Solidarity. In 1988 President Reagan authorized me to tell Mr. Walesa, that when he became President of Poland Paderewski's body would be returned. In 1989, the Berlin Wall was torn down, the Cold War ended, and Poland regained its freedom. True to his promise, Reagan planned to return Paderewski's body to Poland on the 50th anniversary of his death, June 29, 1991. However, on a State visit to the United States, President Walesa said he had not sufficiently consolidated the government and requested that the return of the body be postponed until the following year.

    On June 29, 1992, there was a magnificent ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. Paderewski's casket, draped in an Polish flag, was transported from Arlington Cemetery to Andrews Air Force Base. I, as Honorary Chairman, traveled to Warsaw aboard the Presidential 747 with Paderewski's remains. I was accompanied by a group of prominent Polish-American businessmen, academicians, and cultural leaders. Clarence Paderewski, a renown American architect and second cousin of Paderewski, also traveled with me to Poland. In Warsaw there was another elaborate ceremony at the airport. President Walesa and prominent members of his government greeted the casket. In the group was Dr. Emila Paderewski Chroszicki, a well known physician and professor, and Paderewski's other living second cousin. We traveled in a military procession through streets lined with thousands of Poles waving American and Polish flags, to the Baroque Royal Castle, Zamek Krolowski, in downtown Warsaw where his body lay in state for the next several days. President George Herbert Walker Bush led an emotional ceremony in a square in front of the Castle where President Bush formally delivered the remains to President Walesa. In his address President Bush stressed that this great patriot and statesman had not only been responsible for restoring Poland's freedom, but also had promoted democracy through the arts and education. In accepting the remains President Walesa drew attention to the Polish constitution of 1793, the second oldest in the Free World, which was modeled after the United States Constitution. He thanked the U.S. citizens, especially Polish-Americans, for their undying support. In one final procession, Paderewski's casket was given a military escort to the Basilica of St. John, where it was placed in a crypt.

    The Polish government in gratitude for my work in returning Paderewski's remains to Poland, presented me with the Polish flag which draped Paderewski's casket and two books signed by those who paid their respects while Paderewski's body lay in state in Zamek Castle. In turn, I donated the flag to the Polish museum in Chicago and the books to the American Center of Polish Culture in Washington D.C..

    Poland's President Kwasniewski declared the year 2001to be the year of Paderewski, commemorating the 60th anniversary of his death. In addition to a number of events in Poland, it was celebrated by gala concerts in Carnegie Hall and Lisner Auditorium. Further events are planned for 2002 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the return of Paderewski's remains to Poland.

    The full version of this article may by found on the site www.paderewskirowny.org maintained by Edward L. Rowny, Former Ambassador, LTG USA (Ret.). He may be contacted at fax: (202) 986-4752, e-mail: erowny@aol.com.


    CALENDAR OF EVENTS

    • DEC 2: Music by Lutoslawski, Chopin and others. Juliette Bausor, fl., Maximiliano Martin, cl. Wigmore Hall, London. 020 7935 2141. www.wigmore-hall.org.uk

    • DEC 5: Lutoslawski: Cello Concerto. Natalie Clein, vc., Heinrich Schiff, cond. Halle Orchestra. Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, Eng. 0161 907 9000 www.bridgewater-hall.co.uk

    • DEC 6,7: Skrowaczewski: Night Music. Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, cond. Heinz Hall, Pittsburgh. 412-392-4900. www.pittsburghsymphony.org

    • DEC 6: Penderecki: Sinfonietta. Royal Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Joseph Swensen, cond. Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, 0141 332 5057. Glasgow.

    • DEC 7: Penderecki: Sinfonietta. Royal Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Joseph Swensen, cond. Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland. 0131 668 2019. www.queenshalledinburgh.co.uk

    • DEC 22: "Christmas Across Europe." 6-7 p.m. "Poland." BBC Radio 3. Music by Mielczewski, Rozycki and Szarzynski. Il Tempo, Agata Sapiecha, cond.



    RECENT PERFORMANCES


    PALECZNY IN RZESZOW

    Polish pianist Piotr Paleczny, who was a winner in the Chopin Competition in 1970 and is regarded as Poland's prime pianist , was the soloist in Chopin's Piano Concerto in e-minor performed by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Rzeszow with Tadeusz Strugala conducting. Music by Kilar ("Orawa") and Panufnik ("Sinfonia sacra") was also scheduled.


    JAZZ OVER THE SAN FESTIVAL

    The 14th "Jazz Over the San" river festival held in Przemysl on the eastern border of Poland featured "Chopin in Jazz." The Andrzej Jagodzinski Trio was the inaugurating group, followed by the Abraham Burton Quartet with Steve Davis, trombone, the Maciej Sikala Quartet and Keith Dunn and Adam Wendt Friends.


    POLISH MUSIC IN UKRAINE

    The IVth Festival of Polish Culture was held in four cities in Ukraine (Kiev, Kharkov, Lviv and Odessa) in November. According to the Nowy Dziennik 1 Nov issue, the festival is held every two years beginning in 1996. The orchestra of the Lviv Opera performed works by Moniuszko, while the Ukraine Symphony Orchestra of the National Theatre, Opera and Ballet played Lutoslawski's "Concerto for Orchestra," and the Odessa Philharmonic presented 20th century Polish composers Karlowicz, Bacewicz, Gorecki and Kilar.


    SILESIAN DAYS IN WESTPHALIA

    The National Symphony Orchestra of Polish Radio under the direction of Gabriel Chmura and composer Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki were featured in this festival in Northern Westphalia, Germany. The cycle of events was inaugurated in Dusseldorf with Gorecki conducting his famous Third Symphony.


    SLASK IN JAPAN

    The Sląsk Folk Song and Dance Ensemble successfully completed their first tour of 15 cities in Japan. According to their tradition of singing one song in the native language of the country they tour, the group received a standing ovation for singing the popular folk tune "Szla dzieweczka do laseczka" in Japanese and also a traditional Japanese song, "Momigi." Director Stanislaw Hadyna reported that 2000 were in attendance in Tokyo's largest hall.


    MICKIEWICZ PERFORMANCE IN N.Y.

    On October 16 the Polish Theatre Institute of New York presented "Mickiewicz and Lithuania," a staged, costumed 19th century soiree, celebrating the famous Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz in English translation with songs set to his lyrics in Polish by Polish composers Chopin, Paderewski, Moniuszko and Niewiadomski. Director Nina Polan and Joseph Culliton were the actors and they were joined by singers Monika Krajewska, mezzo, and tenor Gregorio Rangel accompanied by their Music Director Pablo Zinger at the piano.




    POLISH MUSIC IN L.A.

    Pianist Alan Feinberg presented a Chopin group in his recital at Schoenberg Hall, UCLA (7 Nov), while Mark Zeltser also included the music of Chopin in his recital at Fields' Pianos (17 Nov).

    On the other side of town the Los Angeles Master Chorale conducted by Grant Gershon presented a program at the new Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, which the director called "Mystics at the Cathedral." Gorecki's "Amen" was heard.

    Pianist Earl Wild still "thrilling his audiences" as Daniel Cariaga wrote in his review in 19 November issue of the Los Angeles Times. Cariaga stated that, at 86, "Pianist Wild retains his wondrous natural touch" in his recent concert in Pasadena (17 Nov). "He thrilled his audience of nearly 500 as much as ever...his technical feats, ...take the breath away...for definitive and heart-melting Chopin...created deeply impressed aural memories."

    Distinguished Canadian Chopin pianist, Louis Lortie, performed an entire Chopin program on October 13 at UCLA's Schoenberg Hall. He included the 12 Etudes of Opus 10 and 12 of Opus 25, as well as the posthumous Trois Nouvelles Etudes.


    LUTOSŁAWSKI COMPETITION IN POLAND

    Twenty participants from musical academies in Poland vied for best national conductor's prizes. Tomasz Tokarczyk, graduate of the Cracow Academy of Music, won First Prize (a Gold Violin Key), Wojciech Rodek representing the Music Academy of Wroclaw took II Prize and Przemyslaw Neumann of Poznan received the Bronze (III Prize). They are now eligible to represent Poland in the International Competition that will take place in Katowice. Boguslaw Madey was chairman of the jury.


    REVIEW OF CRACOW KLEZMER BAND

    The Polish Cultural Institute of N.Y. Newsletter recently published a superb review from the Chicago Tribune written by Howard Reich. The author praises the Cracow Klezmer Band, which appeared "in a standing-room only crowd at the Chicago Cultural Center at the World Music Festival." Mr. Reich called them "the great find of this year's festival" for they "dared to view klezmer music not as rowdy entertainment, but as sublime, high art in an era, which many would-be klezmer bands, including several in the U.S., exaggerate and vulgarize klezmer traditions." They regard "this art form as a concert music to be performed with utmost polish, care and subtlety." He concluded "of all the ensembles that have emerged in recent years to explore the meaning of klezmer in a new era, few have reached as high as the Cracow Klezmer Band, and fewer still have attained comparable results." The Polish ensemble includes Jaroslaw Bester, accordion; Jaroslaw Tyrala, violin; Wojciech Front, bass and Oleg Dyyak on accordion, clarinet and percussion.


    CHOPIN IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

    Ronald J. Czyz, Jr., programming assistant, at the John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. publicized "Chopin's Romanticism" a program scheduled for 27 October. Maire- France Lefebvre, piano and Nathaniel Chaitkin, cello played Chopin's Polonaise Brillante, Op. 3 and Sonata in G minor, Op. 65. Music of Schumann and Mendelssohn was also heard. You can visit the Center's web-site: www.jp2cc.org



    ANNIVERSARIES

    Born this month:
    • 3 December 1896 - Bolesław SZABELSKI, composer (d. 1979)
    • 5 December 1899 - Bolesław WOYTOWICZ, composer (d. 1980)
    • 6 December 1933 - Henryk Mikołaj GÓRECKI, composer
    • 11 December 1876 - Mieczysław KARŁOWICZ, composer (d. 1909, under an avalanche in Tatra mountains)
    • 14 December 1789 - Maria SZYMANOWSKA, composer, virtuosa pianist (d. 1831, of cholera)
    • 18 December 1907 - Roman PALESTER, composer, broadcaster (d. 1989)
    • 23 December 1830 - Adam MINCHEJMER, composer and conductor (d. 1904)
    • 24 December 1859 - Roman STATKOWSKI, composer, teacher (d. 1925)
    • 29 December 1902 - Henry VARS, film and popular music composer (d. 1978)

    Died this month:
    • 11 December 1945 - Seweryn EISENBERGER, pianist (b. 1899)
    • 20 December 1834 - Maurycy MOCHNACKI, music critic, writer, pianist (b. 1804)
    • 21 December 1938 - Arnold LUDWIK, violin maker (b. 1873)
    • 23 December 1885 - Artur BARTELS, pop singer (b. 1818)
    • 24 December 1898 - Eugeniusz PANKIEWICZ, pianist and composer (b. 1857)
    • 26 December 1945 - Stefan STOIŃSKI, music ethnographer, writer, conductor (b. 1891)
    • 29 December 1913 - Jadwiga SARNECKA, pianist, composer, poet (b. 1877)
    • 31 December 1944 - Marian Teofil RUDNICKI, conductor, composer (b. 1888)

    Back to PMC Home Page PMC Newsletters
    Copyright 2002 by the Polish Music Center
    The publication of the Polish Music Newsletters is supported by
    Dr. & Mrs. Matthew S. Mickiewicz Family Fund, California.

    Send your comments and inquiries to: polmusic@usc.edu
    Newsletter Editor: Wanda Wilk. Contributors: Edward L. Rowny.
    Sources of information: American Record Guide, Chamber Music,
    Fanfare, Polish American press, www.meloman.
    Formatting by Michael Bedernik, 2 December 2002.