Polish Music Newsletter

November 2001, Vol. 7, no. 11. ISSN 1098-9188. Published monthly.
Los Angeles: Polish Music Center, University of Southern California

Anniversaries | Awards | Calendar of Events | Discography | News | Internet News
Essay: Lachert | Recent Performances | Paderewski on Music | The Etude of 1915

NEWS FLASH!

FIFTH PADEREWSKI PIANO COMPETITION

The fifth international Paderewski Piano Competition takes place between 6 and 17 November 2001 at the Pomeranian Philharmonic in Bydgoszcz. The organizers include the Philharmonic, the Paderewski Music Society, the Nowowiejski Academy of Music, and government sponsors. The competition begins with a gala performance by the winner of the previous edition, with Jerzy Maksymiuk conducting.

For more information about the competition, its program and winners contact the Competition Office:

Krystyna Koperska,
Towarzystwo Muzyczne im. I. J. Paderewskiego,
85-018 Bydgoszcz, ul. Piotra Skargi 7, Poland, tel.(+48) (52) 327 02 91, 322 59 15,
e-mail: info@konkurspaderewskiego.pl

The first competition took place in 1961; Henryk Sztompka, one of Paderewski's students, was the president of the jury and Jerzy Maksymiuk received the first prize. The second competition was held in 1986, and Jerzy Sulikowski was the president of the jury. Wojciech Kocyan was the winner of the first prize. In 1994, during the third competition, there was no first prize awarded. The fourth competition in 1998 ended with the first prize being awarded to Tomomi Okumura from Japan.



NEWS:

PADEREWSKI AND STOJOWSKI ANNIVERSARIES

The grand finale of the Paderewski Year in the U.S. was unexpectedly affected by the post-September 11 international upheaval. The main performers invited from Poland for the Paderewski Gala concert on November 4, 2001 at Carnegie Hall, cancelled their appearances. Jerzy Maksymiuk, conductor, will be replaced by Mariusz Smolij; instead of Janusz Olejniczak the audiences will hear a piano performance by Paderewski-specialist from Poland, Karol Radziwonowicz.

This event marks the birthdate of Paderewski (6 November 1860); incidentally the same date is also the date of death of Zygmunt Stojowski (1870-1946), Paderewski's associate, pianist and composer. In order to celebrate both anniversaries and Poland's national holiday of November 11, the current issue of the Newsletter includes a reprint of a 1933 text by Paderewski and an article about the "Polish" issue of the piano magazine, The Etude.

Additional studies and texts relating to both musicians are featured in the summer 2001 issue of the Polish Music Journal (4 no. 1), a semi-annual scholarly publication of the Polish Music Center at USC. Its detailed content is announced separately in the newsletter. Finally, the absence of Stojowski's music during the centennial of the National Philharmonic in Warsaw is pointed out in a letter to the editor by Joseph A. Herter.


POLISH MUSIC JOURNAL 4 NO. 1
From Poland to America: Paderewski
And Polish Emigré Composers


Figure 1: Paderewski and Von KleinSmid at USC.
Los Angeles: USC Yearbook, 1923. Courtesy of USC Archives.

The first 2001 issue of the online scholarly Polish Music Journal includes articles devoted to Paderewski and Polish composers who followed him to the U.S.: Zygmunt Stojowski, Feliks Łabuński, Aleksander Tansman, and Henryk Vars. The volume consists of scholarly articles (by Maja Trochimczyk, Anna Granat-Janki, Linda Schubert, and James Wierzbicki), and documents pertaining to the lives and music of Ignacy Jan Paderewski and Zygmunt Stojowski. Some of these documents are published for the first time, other texts are reprints of publications that are not easily available at present. You may visit the Journal at: http://www.usc.edu/go/polish_music/PMJ/index.html.


CHOPIN AND FRIENDS - FESTIVAL IN NEW YORK

New York Dance & Arts Innovations, Inc presents the 3rd International Chopin & Friends Festival from October 26 to November 25, 2001.

This five-weeks celebration of the arts will begin this Friday October 26th at 8pm at the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York with an evening with Polish poet and composer performing at “Piwnice pod Baranami”- Leszek Dlugosz, and photography exhibition by Damian Pawlus. Admission $15, students with ID $10, reservations 212-931-6839 or http://www.nydai.org

Another festival event will take place on Sunday October 28th, at 7:30pm at Europa Club in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. This event is titled “New Frontiers” presenting two experimental groups: Trio Chroch from Danmark and American group Jerome Sabbagh with Flipside. Also, at the gallery opening of painting exhibition by Polish-French artist Grzegorz Jakubowski. Admission is $10, students with ID $5. Reception will follow the opening of the exhibition. Tickets sold at the door - http://www.nydai.org

The main festival event titled “Gala Concert” will take place on October 30th, 2001 at 8pm at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Avenue, NYC. We will present the following artists performing contemporary and classical program: Nina Kuzma-Sapiejewska -piano; Olga Szwajgier - soprano; Ewa Izykowska - soprano; Lisa L. Daltirus - soprano; Ravil Atlas - tenor; Stephen Katz – cello; Admission $25, tickets: 212-247-7800

For detailed schedule of the events and directions please visit the festival's website at http://www.nydai.org



ANDERSZEWSKI NOMINATED FOR GRAMOPHONE AWARD

Piotr Anderszewski's CD of Beethoven's Diabelli Variations was nominated for the Gramophone 2001 Awards in the Instrumental category along with Murray Perahia's Bach Goldberg Variations and Alfred Brendel's Schubert Piano Sonatas. The winner announced at the 18 October ceremony was Murray Perahia.


SANGARE AND OMSKY IN LOS ANGELES

The first black Polish actor, Omar Sangare, and cellist Jakub Omsky devoted the first half of October to a series of performances of a program of Polish poetry and contemporary music for solo cello. The program, given in Santa Barbara (29 September), San Diego (7 October) and Los Angeles (14 October), consists of poems by Wisława Szymborska (Polish Nobel Prize winner) recited in Polish and English by Sangare, with music interludes provided by Omsky.

Sangare is a graduate of the Warsaw Theater Academy, winner of grants to study at The British American Drama Academy in Oxford, UK and a fellowship from the Kosciuszko Foundation. He is currently a member of Studio Theater in Warsaw. He received an award "THe Best in Acting" from New York International Fringe Festival in 1997. He currently works on a project based on Shakespeare's Othello, with Omsky who is one of the most interesting cellists of his generation, a composer and improviser, as well as performer of a repertoire ranging from the classical to contemporary.



AWARDS:

CHOPIN SOCIETY AWARDS

The annual award from the Chopin International Society was received by Swiss author and musicologist Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger. An honorary award was bestowed uponn the late pianist/professor Halina Czerny-Stefanska, who died in July.


WIT WINS AT CANNES

The National Radio Symphony Orchestra of Katowice under Antoni Wit received the Cannes Classical Award 2002 during the International Cannes Festival.



COMPETITIONS:

XII WIENIAWSKI VIOLIN COMPETITION

Sixteen-year-old violinist Alena Baeva of Russia won First Prize and $25,000 at the XIIth International Wieniawski Violin Competition in Poznań, Poland. The competitions are held every five years. For more information contact the Competition's organizers

V LUTOSŁAWSKI COMPOSITION COMPETITION

Valery Voronov won First Prize at the V International Witold Lutosławski Composition Competition organized by the National Philharmonic in Warsaw, Poland. The composer from Russia won for his work entitled, "Andante luminoso." No Second Prize was awarded. The Third Prize was shared by Naomi Sekiya of Japan and Bartlomiej Krcha of Poland.

IV TANSMAN COMPETITION ANNOUNCED

Aleksander Tansman 4th International Competition of Musical Personalities in Lodz.The guiding principle of the competition is the promotion of the most promising musical personalities, irrespective of their specialities. The competition will be held in Lodz, Poland, in 16-21 November 2002. The competition is open to clarinettists, violinists, pianisits, cellists, guitarists under age 30, and offers a grand prize of 12.000 USD. Applications must be posted by September 9th 2002. The rules, program and application forms may be found at the competition's web site www.tansman.lodz.pl. For more information contact Andrzej Wendland, Competition Director.



INTERNET NEWS:

PADEREWSKI'S LESSON - AN INTERNET LEGEND

There are numerous stories circling the internet. A charming story about Paderewski's kindness to a little boy is one of them. It is reproduced below. This legend may have been inspired by a war-time poster, featuring Paderewski and a little boy, "Jasio-wędrowniczek" [Johnny the wanderer] at the piano. The title of the music "Poland's not lost" is the first line of the national anthem, D±browski's Mazurka. The poster advertises a general meeting of the supporters of Polish Relief Fund organized by Paderewski.


Paderewski and a Polish Boy. Poster for Polish Relief Fund (1940).

Paderewski's Lesson

Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano, a mother took her boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked "NO ADMITTANCE." When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that the child was missing. Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage.

In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano and whispered in the boy's ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing." Then, leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in the bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running obbligato. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative, experience. And the audience was mesmerized.


PADEREWSKI ON THE WEB

Visit a new website about Paderewski: www.paderewskirowny.org. This site is a pet project of former ambassador and retired Lt. Gen. USA (ret.) Edward Rowny and Associates, who are working to promote the legacy of Ignacy Jan Paderewski. The active associates are Dr. Bertram Brown and Colonel L. Kirk Lewis who worked with the Ambassador to plan the return of the great statesman/musician's body to Poland in 1992. Comments or anecdotes concerning Paderewski are welcome.



THE HEALING POWER OF CLASSICAL MUSIC

Essay by Hanna Lachert

"I deeply believe in the healing power of classical music. If even for a couple of minutes, in one phrase, we gave comfort to the listeners - it is good that we came."

It feels funny to quote oneself, but this is what I said in a TV interview aired in New York the day of our downtown lunch concert. (October 22, 2001)

We played Mozart and Beethoven Quartets at the Federal Reserve Bank for people who work near Ground Zero. Our audience, which overflowed the auditorium, included policemen and firemen. We received a standing ovation and an overwhelming satisfaction of having done the right thing.

The downtown area of Manhattan below Canal Street is like a battle zone. The atmosphere is extremely tense, with police presence everywhere. As more and more buildings reopen, there are thousands of people coming to work everyday. Yet those people have the horror of SEPT. 11th engraved in their minds. They witnessed it from "the front row." Even today at ground zero above all the strong stench of death and destruction (there are still fires which burn underground) makes it very hard to go on with oneąs work.

To bring some release and beauty into these difficult days, the New York Philharmonic is offering free one-hour lunch chamber music concerts to be held through November. I am indeed privileged to participate in those and will cherish the memory of it.

In my many years on concert stages around the world there are few other performances which stand out. Those that did also carried extra musical messages.

In the late eighties, the diplomatic relations between Argentina and US were severed as a result of a war with the United Kingdom over the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands. It took a good-will free concert by the New York Philharmonic to open up the dialogue again. I was then a chairperson of our tour committee and remember vividly the meeting when the musicians took a vote to play that concert.

In 1989 when the Berlin wall fell, I was one of seven Americans who participated in the special Christmas concerts. An international orchestra, composed of musicians from New York, London, Rome, Paris, Munich and St. Petersburg and conducted by Leonard Bernstein, played the Beethovenąs IX Symphony in both EAST and WEST Berlin. The East Berlin concert with its universal message of peace, hope and unity was televised to millions people around the world. The West Berlin concert was tele-beamed to the Stephen Kirche Platz and I was told that twenty thousand people joined hands and danced to the last movement "Ode to Joy."

Yet another powerful experience took place this past September. Instead of a festive opening night of the new season, we performed the German Requiem by Brahms. It could not have been a more appropriate choice. Preceded by our national anthem there were not many dried eyes in Avery Fisher Hall, and for that matter in many living rooms, as the concert was broadcast on PBS. All the performers (NYP, chorus, soloists and production crew donated their services, more then $350,000, to the relief fund for the World Trade Center victims.

NOTE: This essay is forthcoming in The Waterville WigWag. Hanna Lachert is a Polish-born violinist based in New York.




CALENDAR OF EVENTS:

  • NOV 2: Music by Lutosławski, Mozart, Williams & Respighi. St. Matthew's Chamber Orchestra, Thomas Neenan, cond., Yi-Huan Zhao, v.; Patricia Massey, cl. St. Matthew's Church, 1031 Bienveneda Ave., Pacific Palisades. (310) 573-7787. 8 p.m., $10-$15.

  • NOV 3: Memorial Service and unveiling of plaque honoring Paderewski on the 60th anniversary of his death. Stanislaus B & M Church (101 E. 7th St, between lst Ave. and A) at ll a.m. followed by the ceremony at Tompkins Square Park (Avenue A at 7th St.). Brief addresses by diplomatic and civic representatives.

  • NOV 4: Gala Tribute to Paderewski at Carnegie Hall, New York sponsored by the Kosciuszko Foundation. Sunday, 2:00 p.m. Music of Paderewski, Moniuszko, Kilar, Noskowski. Sinfonia Varsovia, Mariusz Smolij, cond. Karol Radziwonowicz, piano. $19-$61. (212) 247-7800.

  • NOV 5: Repeat of Gala Tribute above. George Washington U. Lisner Auditorium, Washington, D.C. (202) 994-6800.

  • NOV 11: Lutosławski's Piano Concerto. Leif Ove Andsnes, piano. London Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas, cond. Barbican Centre, London. 7:30 p.m. 6.50-pounds to 35-pounds. +44 (0) 20 7638 8891.

  • NOV 24: Polish-American Christmas Gala. The Lira Ensemble of Chicago. Warren Wood Community Theatre. 8:00 p.m. $23/$11 children. (248) 545-6906.

  • NOV 25: Polish-American Christmas Gala. The Lira Ensemble of Chicago. Washington High School Theater. South Bend, IN. 3:00 p..m. $18-$21/children 1/2 price. (219) 288--8966. www.liraensemble.com


RECENT PERFORMANCES

LUTOSŁAWSKI'S PIANO CONCERTO

The Cleveland Orchestra's offerings at Severance Hall were called "extremely clever" by music critic Donald Rosenberg of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (10/12 issue.) The program "begins and ends with variations, contains two contemporary pieces and links two old works by way of Haydn." The online newsletter "In the News" of Symphony.org informs that, "Franz Welser-Most led the orchestra in Witold Lutosławski's Piano Concerto" featuring pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, whose performance Rosenberg called "superlative." The program also included Esa-Pekka Salonen's LA Variations, which the Cleveland music critic called "excellent."


STRYJNIAK AND LISZT

Jerzy Stryjniak performed an All-Liszt recital at Alice Tully Hall in New York on 22 Oct. Stryjniak, who received his training in Kraków, where he had been born, is presently the director of the New York Conservatory of Music. The New York Times calls his playing "Impressive, dazzling and compelling." A full-page interview with Renata Pasternak- Mazur appeared in the Polish daily, Nowy Dziennik on 12 October 2001.


PENDERECKI'S TRIO

Penderecki's Trio was performed by the New York Philharmonic Ensembles on 14 October at Merkin Hall in New York. Hanna Lachert, violin, Irene Breslaw, viola, and Chung Tu, cello made up the ensemble.


NEW YORK PROGRAM CHANGES

The scheduled solo recital by pianist Jacek Zganiacz for October 21st at the Polish Consulate was cancelled and the pianist was asked to replace Polish pianist Piotr Paleczny for an earlier October 1st recital at Carnegie Hall. The program was also changed to include the talented young sisters Anna and Katherine Karkowska, who performed the virtuoso music for violin and piano by Chopin, Wieniawski, Beethoven, Massenet and Sarasate. Jacek Zganiacz, who began the second half of the recital with Paderewski's "Nocturne, Op. 16" devoted the rest of his program to the music of Chopin and received a standing ovation from the audience, as reported by Roman Markowicz in the Nowy Dziennik.


BOTSTEIN AND LUTOSLAWSKI

Conductor Leon Botstein included Witold Lutosławski's orchestral masterpiece, Mi-Parti in his concert with the American Symphony Orchestra held at the Lincoln Center on 10 October 2001.


SKROWACZEWSKI AND CHOPIN

Maestro Skrowaczewski was back on American soil in October conducting the Minnesota Orchestra in Chopin's Second Piano Concerto with Garrick Ohlsson as soloist in four performances of this work. The concerts were held from 3-5 October in Skrowaczewski's home town of Minneapolis. Later in the same month (18-20 October) Skrowaczewski appeared in a dual role of a composer and conductor in three performances of Skrowaczewski's "Music at Night" with the San Francisco Symphony at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. [www.stsymphony.org]


CHOPIN'S SECOND CONCERTO

Chopin's Second Piano Concerto was also heard in four performances in Seattle, Washington's Benaroya Hall with pianist Nelson Freire and Gunther Herbig conducting the Seattle Symphony (4-7 October).


CHOPIN IN LOS ANGELES

On October 7th the Cello Octet presented, among other compositions, the music of Chopin, at L.A. Harbor College; On October 23 Chopin was included by Jens Lindemann, trumpet, in a faculty recital at UCLA's Schoenberg Hall; On October 27th the well-known pianist Abbey Simon of New York performed Chopin at Fullerton College in the afternoon followed by more Chopin at Cal State Long Beach in the evening with pianist Edith Hirshtal.


PALECZNY IN MIELCE

Pianist Piotr Paleczny concluded the IV International Organ Festival in Mielce in a performance of Chopin's Piano Concerto in E-minor accompanied by a string quartet and Marek Bogacz, doublebass.


LUTOSŁAWSKI'S FUNERAL MUSIC

According to the "In the News" online newsletter Lutosławski's music scheduled (for the weekend following the Twin Towers attack) by Christoph von Dohnanyi and the Cleveland Orchestra proved to be "unusually relevant, both in painful and exhilarating ways." In Lutosławski's "Funeral Music," Dohnanyi "brings to the score a keen grasp of the expressive gestures, from the opening sighs for two cellos through Lutoslawski's compassionate anguished statements to the final cello whisper." The music critic stated also that "the Cleveland strings couldn't have been more controlled or eloquent."



THE ARTS IN THE WILDERNESS

Article by Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1933)

I. Memories of Music

My first music master was no pianist at all but a violinist. My father - who suffered for his patriotism under the Tsarist tyranny and whose Siberian exile cast a gloom over my young years - was an amateur of all the arts; the played the violin, he painted and practiced sculpture.[2]

What music reached us in that countryside (we were two hundred miles from a railway) so far from civilization? Little more than fantasias on operas - and not operas by Verdi or Wagner, but Bellini, Auger, and Donizetti. The full force of music - the sublimity and passion of that art which the longest lifetime is all too ephemeral adequately to serve - was not revealed to me until, when I was twelve, I heard in Warsaw a performance of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Some sixty years have passed and the composer whom, of all, I still play with unmitigated satisfaction is Beethoven. Beethoven is universal. He is consistently lofty. Playing Beethoven, I feel that he is the soul of music and that he contains the germs of all later musicians. I hear Schumann, Mendelssohn, and even Chopin lying implicit in Beethoven. If challenged to name a Chopinesque work of Beethoven's, I would name the E major Sonata Opus 109, and many details in the later sonatas.

II. Chopin's Enduring Greatness

Is that to disparage Chopin? No, and again no. Let me dwell a moment on the miracle (there is nothing less) of Chopin's art. That trail man of genius, that fastidious and shrinking soul, has been a world conqueror. A century ago Chopin - already a marked victim of the disease that was to be his doom - was pouring forth masterpieces. He has been dead for more than eighty years. In that time how many once-great reputations have waned and vanished? No belittlement by supercilious critics has made the slightest effect upon his fame. The esthetic fashions have veered and shifted like any weathervane,[3] but Chopin is enshrined in the hearts of men.

He needs not my or any defense; but a protest may be made against the legend of a spineless, effeminate and self-pitying Chopin. How could the author of the F minor Ballade, the F minor Fantasia, the great, proud polonaises, the spirited mazurkas, the tragic scherzos and heroic etudes[4] (Chopin's Etudes I hold too be almost the most characteristic and original of his works) - how, good people, can he have been that? The frail body contained a heroic soul. The legend, too, of a Chopin who was a mere melodist, with no real technical resources, may be corrected. Truly it is absurd. If one work were to be selected to refute it I would name the F minor Ballade, with its subtle contrapuntal texture.

The thought of Chopin's physical fraility brings to mind the demands (little realized by the lay public) which the musical career makes upon the strength of the body. How many women executants have h ad the keenest musical intuitions without the bodily strength to render them actual! A woman is, of course, an excellent chamber-music pianist; but I call to mind only two of my time who had the strength adequate to the largest occasions - I mean Sophie Menter and Teresa Carreno - and, rather strangely, those so-to-say virile women lacked tenderness.[5]

III. Musical Memory and Values

The memorizing of music - a mystery to the layman - is a subject about which questions are often asked of the artist. The musical executant has three memories. There is the visual memory. One learns by heart a piece of music by remembering the look of the printed page. There is the memory of the run of the music; one remembers "how the music goes." The third is the digital memory.[6] The fingers remember - seemingly independent of the will - the task they have to execute. This is the most important of all. It is notably essential to the playing of polyphonic music. One's playing by heart of certain fugues depends upon this digital or physical memory.

Since anecdotes concerning the memorizing of music seem never unwelcome, let the confession be made that twice in my career memory has played me false. Once it was a Bach fugue. Again, it was in a performance in Paris of a Rubinstein concerto (Lamoreux was conducting).[7] In one of my entries I was late. I think - I hope - no one in the audience knew. I only know that such an experience seems to an artist like the blackest catastrophe.

The musician who has seen many decades is commonly asked to compare the present with that past which to the oncoming generations seems so remote and vague. Little do the young of the present age know how much of glamour and beauty the world has lost in the progress of mechanization. How should music escape this influence? It cannot.

Lyricism is a fugitive, and the latest of the innovators - take such a man as Mossolov[8] - write a music that is indistinguishable from the fierce hubbub of those mass-production factories to whose recklessly unregulated output the present day economic confusion is essentially due. Scientifically and mechanically this is an age of wonders. But the arts! The arts are being driven into an arid wilderness.

NOTE: The article, entitled "Musical Opinion" appeared in the October 1933 issue of Musical Digest (p. 9). It is here reproduced from a copy found in the Zygmunt Stojowski's files at the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America in New York. The article is illustrated with the composer's portrait and preceded by a note about Paderewski's recent concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The subtitles have been added by the editor (MT).



THE ETUDE'S 1915 MUSICAL SALUTE TO POLAND

by Joseph A. Herter


Fragment of Dictionary of Polish Musicians in The Etude of 1915.

During World War I, the entire February 1915 issue of THE ETUDE (Vol. 33 no. 2) was dedicated to Polish music. For the Great War, this issue was an unprecedented effort on part of the editors of this well known music educators' magazine to create sympathy and support for the cause of an independent Polish state. Published by the music publisher Theodore Presser in Philadelphia, THE ETUDE magazine was a very popular monthly periodical that served American music teachers for 65 years (1883-1948). In addition to articles on music and teaching, the magazine was famous for its piano master lessons which were written by the most outstanding piano pedagogues of the day and also for the monthly music supplement which contained about a dozen pieces of music for the amateur musician to learn and play.

The February 1915 issue contained the following articles devoted to Poland, Polish music and compositions by Polish composers or those based on Polish dance forms written by non Polish composers:

  • Tragic Poland and its Musical Glory, an editorial, p. 87

  • Breadth in Musical Art Work, an article based on an interview with Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1869-1941), p. 89

  • The Music of Proud and Chivalrous Poland by Marcella Sembrich (1858-1935) and Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977), p. 91

  • 'Zal' - the Word That Expresses the Soul of Poland, p. 92 No author is given for this article. I think it is interesting to point out that in the program of Zygmunt (Sigismond) Stojowski's (1870-1946) first Carnegie Hall concert, which he gave with the New York Symphony, playing Camille Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 4 in C Minor under the direction of Frank Damrosch on January 6, 1906, there appeared an advertisement for a popular novel written by the prolific author Rupert Hughes (1872-1956). The book was entitled Zal, and the advert read: The Love Story of a Polish Pianist... The hero conquers America and wins the heart of an American girl. A very unusual book. 'Zal' is a Polish word expressing a certain temperament. $1.50 The Century Co. Stojowski could almost have been the hero of this novel, arriving in America when he was 35. However, he won the heart of a South American girl whom Paderewski sent to Stojowski for piano studies - Senorita Luisa Morales-Macedo (1890-1982) - from Peru. There are several libraries in the USA which still have Zal in their collections, including the Library of Congress.

  • How Poland's Inspiring Dances Have Enriched Musical Literature by Antoinette Szumowska-Adamowski (1868-1938), pp. 93-94 Szumowska studied with Paderewski in Paris and was the wife of the principal 'cellist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) Joseph (Józef) Adamowski (1862-1930), who was the brother of Timothée (Tymoteusz) Adamowski (1858-1945), the concertmaster of the BSO. She, her husband and brother-in-law were all on the faculty of the New England Conservatory and were the musicians who formed the famed Adamowski Trio.

  • The Development of Music in Poland by Jaroslaw (Jaroslaw) de Zielinski (1847-1922), pp. 95-97 A composer, pianist and music critic, Zielinski studied with former Chopin student Karol Mikuli (1819-1897) in Lwów (now Lviv, Ukraine). In the 1860's he immigrated to the USA, where he fought in the Civil War. Following the war, he settled in Detroit and then moved to Grand Rapids, Chicago, Buffalo, Tennessee and Alabama before he finally relocated to Los Angeles, where he started a piano school. He was a frequent contributor to THE ETUDE.

  • A Concise Biographical Dictionary of Noted Musicians in Poland, p. 99 A list of over 80 names of Polish musicians. The list is accompanied with the explanation, While this list does not pretend to be complete, it is certainly the most comprehensive in the English language.

  • The Etude Master Study Page Features Paderewski, pp. 101-102

  • A Master Lesson on Chopin's (1810-1849)'First Impromptu' by Sigismond Stojowski, pp. 105-106

  • Frederic Chopin's 'First Impromptu' edited by Sigismond Stojowski, pp. 107-109

  • Paderewski's Famous Minuet in G, Op. 14 no. 1, pp. 110-112

  • Polish Dance, Op. 3 no. 1 by Xaver Scharwenka (1850-1924), pp. 114-115 (piano four hands)

  • Nocturne, Op. 50 no. 1 by Ignace (Ignacy) Krzyzanowski, p. 122 Krzyzanowski (1826-1905) was a Polish composer and pianist, whose studies in Paris included several lessons with Frederic Chopin. He was the cofounder of the Warsaw Musical Society (WTM), which is still in existence today.

  • Two Polish Themes arr. by Albert Franz, p. 126

  • Polish Chivalry by A. Pieczonka, p. 128

  • Kujawiak by Henry (Henryk) Wieniawski (1835-1880), p. 129 (Violin and piano)

The following month, in the March 1915 issue of THE ETUDE, still another article on Polish music appeared: Music Education in Poland by Henry (Henryk) Opienski (1870-1942). Opienski was a violinist, composer, conductor, musicologist and teacher. Like Zygmunt Stojowski, he also studied with Wladyslaw Zelenski (1837-1921) and Paderewski. Since this month marks the 100th anniversary of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, it is worthy to point out that Opienski was a violinist with that orchestra which gave its premičre performance on November 5, 1901.



DISCOGRAPHY:

by Wanda Wilk

CHOPIN ON ANALEKTA

  • Analekta is a Canadian firm that promotes Canadian musicians. Their new "Chopin in Autumn" Series features There Motard, cello and Louise Andree Baril, piano (Analekta FL 23142) and virtuoso pianist Richard Raymond (Analekta FL 2 3158).


    KEMPF PLAYS CHOPIN

  • BIS CD -1160. The Chopin pieces are Ballades, Andante spianato & Grande Polonaise, Polonaise-fantaisie & Fantaisie-impromptu.

    This disc received two reviews recently. Jessica Duchen compare the playing of this "lionised youth with another, Evgeny Kissin" in the October 2001 issue of BBC Music Magazine. She definitely preferred the latter and ended up giving Freddy Kempf only a 2-star rating for performance.

    Meanwhile Stephen Plaistow (Gramophone, Nov 2001) gives a more scathing review. He chides the 24-year old for being "a jumble of effects without causes...He is simply too fast...rather flashy...much temperament and superficial excitement, but unlikely to satisfy over the longer term."


    SZYMANOWSKI AND RUBINSTEIN

    If you are looking for Artur Rubinstein's rendition of his friend Karol Szymanowski's "Symphonie Concertante" you will find it in Vol. 32 of the Rubinstein Collection. The pianist performed it with the L.A. Philharmonic undeer Alfred Wallenstein.


    BARGAIN CDs

    Daedalus Music (800-395-2665 or www.salemusic.com) has three outstanding discs at the reduced price of $5.98:

    • Catalog #17040. Adam Makowicz Trio: My Favorite Things - The Music of Richard Rodgers. Adam Makowicz, piano. George Mraz, bass. Alan Dawson, drums. Concord Jazz CD. Here the Polish jazz pianist displays his usual "splendid technical prowess and artistic finesse." According to the Wall Street Journal "this gifted improviser" is "more than deserving of the accolades he has received."

    • Catalog #09117. Chopin Piano Sonatas 2 & 3, Fantasie, Op. 49. Shura Cherkassky, p. Ermitage/Decca.

    • Catalog #16617. Górecki: Three Pieces in Old Style; Good Night & Kleines Requiem. I Fiamminghi, The Orchestra of Flanders, Rudolf Werthen, cond. Telarc. The Requiem is now one of Górecki's most frequently recorded music. A Gramophone critic described it as "certainly one of his most intriguiing and compelling pieces." The "Good Night" memorial to the late Michael Vyner is an intensely beautiful and moving piece - well worth getting the CD for this alone, however, the "Requiem for a Polka" is still one of my favorites.


    ETHEL BARGAINS

    Three other "bargain" discs are available from Ethel Enterprises (800-648-2042):

    • #556692 NXS. "The Best of Lutosławski." Symphonic Variations; Overture for Strings; Little Suite; Piosenka; Concerto for Orchestra; Funeral Music; Epilogue; Jeux Venitiens; Cello Concerto; Chain II; Piano Concerto. Various artists, conductors & orchestras. Naxos. Only $6.79.

    • #74290 EMI. Chopin: Etudes, Op. 10 & Op. 25; Ballades 1-4; Waltzes 1-19. Agustin Anievas, piano. Part of EMI Classics doublefforte. Digitally remastered at Abbey Road Studios. $15.59 (2 discs for the price of one).

    • #74302. Penderecki. Orchestral Works. Anaklasis for strings & percussion; Threnody; Fonogrammi; De natura sonoris Nos. 1 & 2; Capriccio for violin & orchestra; Canticum canticorum salomonis; The Dream of Jacob; Emanationen for 2 string orchestras; Partita for harpsichord & orchestra; Cello Concerto; Symphony. Wanda Wilkomirska, violin; Felicja Blumenthal, harpsichord; Siegfried Palm, cello; Krzysztof Penderecki, conducting. Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra. Emi Classics doublefforte. $15.59 (2 for the price of 1).



    LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

    by Joseph A. Herter

    In spite of all the celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, there has been one egregious omission in the Philharmonic's jubilee events. While choosing to program the music of Ignacy Paderewski, the orchestra's administration has completely neglected the works of the other great Polish composers who, 100 years ago, were found worthy to be performed on the Warsaw Philharmonic's first concert of November 5, 1901. True, Zygmunt Noskowski's Step and Stanislaus Moniuszko's 'Bajka' Overture will be heard during the season, but only as part of the repertoire of visiting amateur or professional orchestras. Sadly, however, the music of Wladyslaw Zelenski (1837-1921) and of his most outstanding student, Zygmunt Stojowski (1870-1946), is being completely ignored by any ensemble performing at the National Philharmonic Hall this centennial season.

    Partially because of time constraints and partially because of current musical tastes, one can understand the National Philharmonic's decision not to replicate that historic concert of 1901. However, the Philharmonic's additional decision to completely ignore at least two of the country's historically important musical sons, rather than fulfilling an obligation to salute those famous Polish composers of a century past, will only serve to further reinforce the situation whereby the musical public sees the names of Zelenski and Stojowski, if it ever sees them at all, as curiosities of the fin-de-siecle rather than being amongst the most famous representatives of Polish music. By continuing to avoid playing the music of these two composers in our concert halls and on commercial Polish recordings, people in decision-making positions-such as those at the Warsaw Philharmonic-are depriving Polish society of the right to know its musical heritage and are denying them access to it in both the concert hall and at home. To be blunt, thanks to the Warsaw Philharmonic's planning of its centennial year, Polish society is being cheated of an important part of its heritage.

    Stojowski, in particular, played an important role as the first Polish symphonist of any high caliber. His orchestral music was heard and played by the finest orchestras in Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig, London, Paris and St. Petersburg in the 1890's when the composer was only in his twenties! Peter Tchaikovsky was scheduled to conduct Stojowski's Suite in E-flat in 1894, and in 1895, by command of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Stojowski's cantata Spring was premiered at a State Concert that was held at Buckingham Palace. For a good twenty years Stojowski's position as one of Poland's most outstanding composers was unquestioned. When he immigrated to the USA in 1905, Stojowski was hailed as a great composer, pianist and pedagogue, and he had the distinction of being the first Polish composer to have a concert entirely comprised of his music performed by the New York Philharmonic.

    The decline in Stojowski's popularity was due to his being a diehard romantic who appeared in the musical world on the brink of a revolution that dramatically changed musical styles, tastes and compositional techniques. Stojowski refused to change. In fact, he basically stopped composing around World War I and directed his energy into performance and teaching.

    For our musical heritage to be properly cherished it must first of all be heard. I think it behooves Warsaw's National Philharmonic Orchestra to reconsider the programming for its centennial year and to add some orchestral works by Stojowski and his teacher Zelenski to the remaining programs of the season.

    Sincerely yours, Joseph A. Herter, Warszawa



    COMMEMORATONS & ANNIVERSARIES:

  • Born this month:

  • 1 November 1901 - Szymon LAKS, composer, violinist (d. 1986)
  • 2 November 1876 - Eugeniusz MORAWSKI, composer, conductor (d. 1948)
  • 3 November 1915 - Henryk JABLONSKI, composer
  • 4 November 1857 - Stanisław NIEWIADOMSKI, composer (d. 1936)
  • 6 November 1860 - Ignacy Jan PADEREWSKI, pianist, composer, statesman (d. 1941)
  • 23 November 1933 - Krzysztof PENDERECKI, composer, conductor
  • 24 November 1932 - Andrzej KURYLEWICZ, composer, jazz pianist
  • 24 November 1899 - Jan MAKLAKIEWICZ, composer, teacher (d. 1954)
  • 26 November 1896 - Józef KOFFLER, composer (d. 1943/4?)
  • 27 November 1893 - Stanisław WIECHOWICZ, composer, choral conductor (d. 1963)
  • 28 November 1928 - Jan FOTEK, composer


    Died this month:

  • 1 November 1947 - Władysław POWIADOWSKI, choral conductor,teacher (b.1865)
  • 2 November 1929 - Stanisław BARCEWICZ, violinist, teacher (b.1858 )
  • 2 November 1881 - Jan Nepomucen BOBROWICZ, guitarist (b.1805)
  • 3 November 1888 - Józef BRZOZOWSKI, composer, cellist, conductor, teacher (b.1805)
  • 6 November 1946 - Zygmunt STOJOWSKI, composer, pianist, teacher (b. 1870)
  • 9 November 1856 - Aleksander MARTIN, composer, violist (b. 1856)
  • 11 November 1912 - Józef WIENIAWSKI, pianist, teacher, composer (b.1837)
  • 15 November 1853 - Józef NIEDZIELSKI, voice and violin teacher (b.1793)
  • 15 November 1986 - Aleksander TANSMAN, composer, conductor, pianist (b. 1897)
  • 14 November 1860 - Feliks NOSKOWSKI, pianist,teacher (b.1874)
  • 26 November 1855 - Adam MICKIEWICZ, romantic poet (b.1798)




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    Copyright 2001 by the Polish Music Center
    Send your comments and inquiries to: polmusic@usc.edu

    Newsletter Editors: Wanda Wilk and Maja Trochimczyk. Contributions by Joseph Herter and Hanna Lachert.
    Sources of information: American Record Guide, Chamber Music, Fanfare, Gramophone, Ruch Muzyczny,
    Nowy Dziennik, Los Angeles Times, and Schwann. Formatting by Maja Trochimczyk, 3 November 2001.