Vol. 2, no. 3
EVENT OF THE MONTH!
The third annual Paderewski Festival will be
held in Paso Robles, California from March 22-24th. A series of
concerts and tours of the wineries in the area, along with the
famous Polish breakfast. Why Paso Robles you may ask. The great
pianist Paderewski purchased a ranch in the area where he came each
year for the famous baths and relaxation. He was the first in the
area to plant almond orchards. Today wines under the Paderewski
label are now being produced at his former ranch. A monument in
honor of the town's most famous resident is to be unveiled this
year. For anyone not wishing to drive, bus tours are planned from
Los Angeles, Yorba Linda and Van Nuys. For info call Florence Bean
at (714) 831-6555.
In The News
Nominated for a Grammy for the best chamber music performance:
Yun (violin) and Akira Eguchi (piano) for their rendition of Karol
Szymanowski's Sonata for violin & piano, op. 9 and Cesar Franck's
Sonata in a major.
Also nominated for the Best Polka Album vocal or instrumental:
Sturr for "I love to polka."
Best Sellers at Tower Records in February:
Chopin Piano Concertos nos. 1 & 2 with Evgeny Kissin and the Moscow
Philharmonic. RCA Victor (BMG 09026-68373) is a rerelease of
recordings made in 1984 when the pianist was only twelve years old.
Also reported in Classical Pulse: "Concept albums from Hell"
includes Mephisto Magic (London); Mozart at Midnight (Philips) and
Penderecki Gala (Sony).
Leila Josefowicz, violinist, made her first recording debut
performing the Tchaikovsky and Sibelius Violin Concertos with the
Academy of St. Martin-in-the Fields/Sir Neville Marriner. Philips
446 131-2. Leila is a student of Robert Lipsett, assistant
professor at the University of Southern California; School of Music.
POLKAS ON THE INTERNET:
The Polish-American Journal (Buffalo, NY) reports that "Polka home
pages have started to emerge on the World Wide Web, with Chris
Szymczak's Polkanet page leading the way. Offering polka news, radio
program listings, and sound files, you can actually listen to polka
music on your properly equipped personal computer."
One can also find the "Polka Insider" and "Nancy's Home Page." A
polka newsgroup, Alt.Music.Polkas, is growing with each week. Steve
Litwin reported this news. You can find him at:
The First Jazz Rondo Festival held in Slupsk, Poland last year was
dedicated to the memory of pianist, Krzysztof Komeda, who died in a
car crash in the U.S. several years ago. The winner of the First
Competition In Jazz Composition was announced at this event. Marcin
Malecki won in the "open" category for his jazz quintet titled,
"Zawirowania" (whirls, swirls, spinning) and Maciej Ulatowski won in
the "Jazz themes" category for "Rosiczka" (Honeydew), a Concerto for
Music Calendar Of Events:
March 3, 1996: Polish-American pianist Chester Swiatkowski will
appear as soloist with the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra in
Ravel's Piano Concerto in G Major. Sunday evening. (310) 996-3260.
Los Angeles, California
At The Kosciuszko Foundation In NY:
March 10, 1996: "Le Gout Polonaise" at the Kosciuszko Foundation at
3:00 p.m. The Four Nations Ensemble, performing on period
instruments, will present music by Haydn, Johann Schobert, Johann
Wolfl, and Wilhelm Bach that makes use of Polish themes.
April 14, 1996: "Music of Lutoslawski, Chopin, Dobrzynski,
Muczynski, Roussel And Thuille" performed by the ASPEN WIND QUINTET.
At The Lincoln Center In NY:
March 1 through May 3, 1996: A festival of medieval, renaissance and
baroque Polish music is being sponsored under the auspices of the
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Recitals and
lectures will take place in the Bruno Walter Auditorium, 40 Lincoln
Center Plaza, Manhattan.
March 1: Il Canto ensemble will present music of Waclaw from
Szamotul, Leopolita, Gomolka, Pekiel and Bazylik. 3:00 p.m.
March 2: Il Canto in music of XVIth century anonymous composers,
songs of Moniuszko, Szymanowski and contemporary Polish composers.
March 8: Lecture on "Polish Sacred and Secular Music of the
Renaissance and the Baroque" will be presented by Ludwik Erhardt,
editor in chief of the music journal, Ruch Muzyczny.
Several Chopin birthday concerts were featured in February:
Feb 22, 1996: Pawel Checinski, pianist, in a concert of favorite
Chopin piano compositions at the Consulate of the Republic of Poland
in Chicago. Sponsored by the Lira Ensemble.
Feb 25, 1996: Gabriela Montero, bronze medal winner of the
International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, performed in San
Francisco in a concert sponsored by the Chopin Foundation Council of
Other Concert News:
Feb 11, 1996: The concert of Grazyna Bacewicz's Violin and Piano
Sonatas performed by Arnold Belnick and Sergei Silvansky before a
full house in Hancock Auditorium on the USC campus was a huge
success! The audience loved the music of this outstanding Polish
composer as well as the artists' performance, applauding until the
soloists returned to the stage to repeat the last number.
You can hear this great performance on Cambria records CD-1052,
available in your local classical record shop. Judith Rosen, author
of our book on the life and works of Grazyna Bacewicz, was on hand
to autograph her book.
Jan 28, 1996: The music of Karol Szymanowski (Six Kurpie Songs),
Ludomir Rozycki (Nocturne for violin) and Walter Legawiec ("The
Episodes" "Remembrance" and "To a lonely shepherd girl for violin")
was performed at the Polish Cultural Foundation in Clark, New
Jersey. The Szymanowski choral works were performed by the Polish
Singers Alliance Seventh Chorus with Walter Legawiec conducting.
"The Episodes" to a text by Walt Whitman for chorus and piano (which
received the Wassili Leps Award from Brown University) was performed
by the New York Symphonic Chamber Chorus, with the composer
conducting and Richard Hankinson, pianist.
The cycle of songs "Remembrance" was performed by Mark Hoeler, tenor
and Paul Kueter, pianist. The composer opened the program with two
The FIRST SAN FRANCISCO CHOPIN COMPETITION FOR YOUNG PIANISTS will
be held on May 5, 1996. There are two age categories: I. Through 12
years old. II. From 13 through 15 years old. For more information
contact the Chopin Foundation Council of San Francisco at 1290
Sutter St., San Francisco, CA 94109. Telephone: 415-474-2626 or fax
415-474-7149. Winner's recital will take place on May 11th at 4:00
Deadline for the CHOPIN PIANO COMPETITION sponsored by the
KOSCIUSZKO FOUNDATION in New York is April 15th! FAX: 212-628-4552.
THE XI INTERNATIONAL HENRYK WIENIAWSKI VIOLIN COMPETITION will take
place from October 12 - 27, 1996 in Poznan, Poland. Sir Yehudi
Menuhin is honorary chairperson. Violinists of all nationalities
born after October 12, 1966 are eligible. First prize: $20,000;
Second: $15,000; Third: $10,000; Fourth: $5,000; Fifth: $4,000 and
Sixth: $3,000. Competition fee is $100. Three hundred seventy six
violinists from thirty countries and all continents have
participated since the competition's inception in 1935. For
information fax the Henryk Wieniawski Musical Society in Poznan.
From the U.S.: 011-48-61-52-89-91.
For All Music Lovers & Travelers:
A Polonaise Music Festival in Poland has been organized for July 24
to August 1, 1996. A tour of the famous cities of Warsaw and Krakow
has been combined with performances by Poland's foremost artists in
unique settings (royal castles, Gothic churches and salt mines).
Krzysztof Penderecki will lead the SINFONIA VARSOVIA in concert at
the Krakow Opera House. In other programs planned by the composer's
wife and composer Marta Ptaszynska, there will an evening of
operatic arias performed by Poland's best soloists; a concert by the
award winner of the XIII Chopin Piano Competition in the Warsaw
Philharmonic; a Mozart concert in the Royal Castle of Warsaw and
Mozart's "The Magic Flute" will be performed by the Warsaw Chamber
Opera; an organ concert in a Franciscan Gothic church in Krakow
ending with the grand finale by the IL CANTO ensemble in the
renowned Wieliczka Salt Mines. For tour information call Pat Tours @
The Duszniki Zdroj Chopin Festival will be held from August 2-10 in
1996. Last year marked the 50th festival held in this health spa.
Artist director pianist Piotr Paleczny remarked that the number of
excellent pianists who have taken part in these concerts could be
used for a pianist's encyclopedia.
Did You Know That?
There is a chamber music version of Chopin's Piano Concertos that
you can now hear on CD? Pianist Marek Drewnowski arranged the music
for piano quintet and it is a Polish Radio release (MD01). It was
reviewed in Ruch Muzyczny in the last November issue by Pawel
Bagnowski. Artists featured are Kaja Danczowska and Robert Kabara,
violins, Artur Paciorkiewicz, viola, Jerzy Klocek, cello and Andrzej
"COLOR STUDIES OF CHOPIN," a film produced in 1944 by the Polskie
Centrum Informacji (an organ of the former Polish government in
exile in London) can be found in the archives of the Pilsudski
Institute in New York. It features pianist Witold Malcuzynski with
commentary by Olin Downes.
Recordings - Newest Releases:
Lutoslawski: Chamber music. Accord/Allegro/201142
Penderecki: St. Luke Passion - Stabat mater; Miserere; In pulverem
mortis. Magnificat - Sicut locutus est. Agnus Dei. Song of
Cherubim. Veni creator. Benedicamus Domino. Benedictus. Tapiola
Chamber Choir/Juha Kuivanen. Finlandia 4509-98999-2.
Szymanowski: Concertos for violin and orchestra, nos. 1 & 2.
Gorecki: Three pieces in the old style. Baird: Colas Breugnon.
Konstanty Kulka, violin/Polish Natl Radio Symphony Orch/ Polish
Chamber Orch/Jerzy Maksymiuk. EMI Matrix CDM5 65418-2.
This was reviewed in Gramophone Mar '96 issue. Music critic (MS)
remarked, "It is something of a mystery that Szymanowski's two fine
violin concertos have not been integrated into the concerto
repertoire in the same way that, say, the Bartok or Prokofiev works
have - as RL has rightly pointed out in these pages, the Szymanowski
`are among the most glorious and intoxicating works in the
Reviewed In CD REVIEW Mar '96:
Scharwenka (Philipp): Trios for piano, violin & cello, op. 110 & G,
op. 112; Sonata for cello & piano in g minor, op. 116. TRIO
PARNASSUS. MDG 303-0532-2;
"These chamber pieces, represent the best of Scharwenka, which means
they are very good." is how Tom Vernier described them in the March
issue of CD Review.
The Scharwenka brothers were born near Poznan, Poland in 1847
(Philipp) and 1850 (Franz Xaver). The family settled in Berlin in
1965. A century ago both brothers were famous as educators and
composers. Today their compositions are rarely performed. They are
listed in the encyclopedias as German-Polish. Their music is
saturated with Polish themes and titles. Elan recently reissued the
Scharwenka and Paderewski concertos. Gramophone Mar '96 issue calls
this a "welcome return."
A new mail order source for music from Poland: Poland Import Export,
4216 Bettina Ave., San Mateo, CA 94403. Tel/fax 415-341-7359.
What caught my eye in this catalog was "Baroque Music in Poland" MCD
015. My favorite choral work, "Ad hymnos, ad cantus" by Szarzynski
is on this recording.
Commemorations & Anniversaries:
Polish composers born in March:Mar 01, 1810 - Fryderyk Chopin
Mar 03, 1922 - Kazimierz Serocki
Mar 06, 1875 - Karol Kurpinski
Mar 07, 1911 - Stefan Kisielewski
Mar 17, 1901 - Piotr Perkowski
Mar 21, 1936 - Marek Stachowski
Mar 28, 1954 - Pawel Szymanski
Composer Of The Month:
Regarded in Poland as one of the most gifted composers of his
generation. In listing some of the most outstanding composers of
each generation in this century, we can begin with those born before
World War I (Lutoslawski, Panufnik, Bacewicz, Palester), born in the
1920s (Baird, Serocki, Kotonski), in the 1930s (Gorecki,
Penderecki), in the 40s (Bruzdowicz, Ptaszynska, Meyer) and in the
50s (Knapik, Krzanowski, Lason and Szymanski).
Szymanski was born in Warsaw, graduated from the Music Lyceum as a
bassoon player and then entered the Academy of Music as a
composition student of Wlodzimierz Kotonski. He also studied with
Tadeusz Baird and under Roman Haubenstock-Ramati in Vienna.
Although he visited Darmstadt three times, none of its influence
remained with him.
Gloria for women's choir and orchestra won first prize at the Young
Polish Composers' Competition in 1979. Another choral work, Lux
aeterna for voices and instruments won a prize at the Stuttgart
Int'l Bachakademie Competition for sacred music in 1979. Partita 3
was joint winner of the Benjamin Britten Composers' Competition in
1988, while Quasi una sinfonietta was commissioned by the London
Sinfonietta in 1990. Appendix for piccolo and ensemble (1983) is
one of Szymanski's most widely acclaimed works.
I am sure that the late Lutoslawski (who first told me about this
shining star in Polish music) was instrumental in having Szymanski's
music published by his own British publisher, Chester Music of
London. It is distributed in the U.S. by G. Schirmer, Inc.
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Director: Wanda Wilk
This page updated on 4/3/96 by Conrad Hunziker III