Showing posts from April, 2021

Chopin Chamber Music - Time Travel - A reminder of a superlative Chopin Birthday Concert, Warsaw, 1 March 2021

Trio in G minor  Op. 8 (1829) Sonata in G minor  for piano and cello Op. 65 (1846) Introduction and Polonaise brillante in C major  for piano and cello  Op. 3 (1829) Grand Duo Concertant in E major on themes from Meyerbeer's Robert le diable for piano and cello (1832-1833)   Szymon Nehring  (piano)  Marcin Zdunik  (cello) Ryszard Groblewski (viola) CD number: NIFCCD 221 As the Arthur Rubinstein Competition is now in progress in Tel Aviv, I feel it is a fine opportunity to listen to how winners of this prestigious competition develop in their careers.  In 2017 the pianist on this recording, Szymon Nehring, won First Prize in the competition, the first Polish pianist to do so. I predict that the uncommon young Polish pianist Aleksandra Swigut, who is taking part as I write and whose talent I have championed for many years, will hopefully distinguish herself in a similar manner!  On Chopin's birthday this year I felt grateful to the National Fyderyk Chopin Institute to be able to

Chopin Piano Concertos - Chamber versions - Kevin Kenner (piano) Apollon Musagète Quartet

Kevin Kenner (piano) Apollon Musagète Quartet Paweł Zalejski (violin) Bartosz Zachłod (violin) Piotr Szumieł (viola)  Piotr Skweres (Gennaro Gagliano cello from 1741) Słowomir Rozlach  (double bass) One of the world’s finest string quartets, the Apollon Musagète Quartet was founded by four Polish artists in 2006, in Vienna Below is my review of the live concert given as part of the  Master Recital Series  19th October 2020 Warsaw, Poland This fine new recording of these concertos by the same performers is available from the National Fryderyk Chopin Institute  NIFCCD 220  Fryderyk Chopin The Young Chopin Warsaw Panorama from Praga 1770  - Bernado Bellotto   Piano Concerto in F minor  Op. 21 Maestoso Larghetto Allegro vivace I have spoken of the genesis of these two wonderful concertos many times in my reviews so shall not repeat myself once again, save to make a few observations on these remarkable alternative chamber transcriptions.   The first performance of his first piano concerto t

The Polish Romantic Guitar - The Polish Musical Renaissance - National Chopin Institute Recording Review

Mateusz Kowalski Works by Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849) Jan Nepomucen Bobrowicz (1805-1881) Felix Horecki (1796-1870) Stanisław Szczepanowski (1811? - 1877) Marek Konrad Sokołowski (1818-1883) Guitarist:  Mateusz Kowalski CD number: NIFCCD 118 Again, this ghastly pandemic has opened up caverns of reading time for me without distractions. I am once more inspired in my life and music practice by that singularly appropriate text from Edward Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius taken from the poem of the same name by Cardinal John Henry Newman And while the storm of that bewilderment Is for a season spent And, ere afresh the ruin on me fall, Use well the interval. I brought this to bear in the following review of a CD devoted to the guitar in Poland and outstanding Polish guitar compositions. I agree, at first sight an arcane and not a well-known subject, but it suffers undeserved neglect. I have always loved the classical, acoustic guitar. My harpsichord builder, the great luthi

Time Traveller - Mozart, Hummel and Feliks Dobrzyński - The Polish Musical Renaissance - National Chopin Institute Recording Review

  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Johann Nepomuk Hummel Symphony in G minor KV 550 1.  Molto allegro 2.  Andante 3.  Menuetto. Allegretto – Trio 4.  Allegro assai Ignacy Feliks Dobrzyński String Quintet No. 1 in F major Op. 20 5.  Allegro moderato 6.  Menuetto 7.  Andante doloroso ma non troppo  ( Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła ) 8.  Finale. Vivace assai Paweł Wakarecy  (piano)  Łukasz Długosz (flute)  Jakub Jakowicz  (violin) Anna Maria Staśkiewicz (1st violin) Kataryna Budnik (viola)  Andrzej Bauer  (1st cello)  Marcin Zdunik  (cello) CD Number:  NIFCCD 111 As this frightful pandemic has reduced live concerts to a trickle of audience-free online experiences, I thought I might 'use well the interval' and write some reviews of the outstanding National Chopin Institute recordings that have recently been released. This present period can only be described as a veritable Renaissance in Polish music. You really should listen to them to relieve the dragging hours of enforced isolation. I have b