Showing posts from 2023

Christmas Concert by the Karski Quartet, Somianka Manor, Poland - Sunday, December 17th 2023 at 2.30pm

Somianka Manor Somianka Park The mansion (referred to by the owner Pawel Esse amusingly as 'my little cottage') has an interesting history. It was designed in the first half of the nineteenth century (around 1833) on the foundations of an old convent by the architect Adam Idźkowski. He was the architect of the reconstruction the Cathedral of St. John in Warsaw built in the English Gothic style.  The dwór is situated on a high cliff and surrounded by a picturesque landscaped park laid out in the nineteenth century. Between the wars the property extended over 2000 hectares, including 800 hectares of forest. After the war it performed the functions of a police station, a kindergarten and a school. Somianka is one of the few manors that have not been transformed into a hotel.  Pawel's  superb red 4.2 Series II E-type Jaguar Coupe brought back fond memories of classic car visits to Somianka  in the past. Official Website: This concert (the venue is a p

Fou Ts'ong - a tender and affectionate personal reminiscence by Roman Żółtowski who also tragically left us on 15th November 2023

  This beautifully and tenderly observed portrait of the pianist Fou Ts'Ong is all the more moving as Roman Żółtowski has now  tragically also left us on   November 15th 2023 The Żółtowski home in Poland A generation of musical and human sensibility, sensitivity and depth has passed with the death of the legendary Chinese pianist Fou Ts’ong. He inhabited my gallery of the finest Chopinists from my childhood and then for as long as I can remember. This indiscriminate and merciless virus has claimed yet another victim. He was the first Chinese participant in the Warsaw International Chopin Competition where he won 3rd Prize in the 5th competition in 1955 just below Vladimir Ashkenazy. He also won the Polish Radio award for the best performance of mazurkas. These were remarkable interpretations that were reflected throughout his recital career. Not only Chopin but superb Mozart, Schubert, Brahms and Scarlatti. He was one

Poland - Now Six Major Ways in which the country has changed since my first encounter in early 1992

Now 6 Major Ways Poland Has Changed Summary of the blog from The Guardian  12th December 2023  (Lili Bayer) Donald Tusk (Arab News)   A New Government for Poland  Quite a Change ! From The Guardian blog 12th December 2023 - Lili Bayer in Brussels Speaking in the Polish parliament this morning, incoming prime minister Donald Tusk said the October election “will go down in history as the day of peaceful rebellion for freedom and democracy” . In his speech, Tusk spoke out against xenophobia and said “we can protect the Polish and European border and be human at the same time” . The incoming prime minister also said “we will demand full mobilisation of the west to help Ukraine” but noted that “we must remain assertive when it comes to the interests of, among others, Polish farmers”. Tusk presented his ministers, which include the well-known former ombudsman Adam Bodnar as minister of justice. Radosław Sikorski is to return as foreign minister. He also emphasised his goal of making

Dimitry Ablogin - Warsaw recorded CD of the Late Works of Chopin Op.45-64 played on Chopin's last Pleyel of 1848 (Chopin Museum) - 'A thing of beauty is a joy for ever'

The last  Pleyel  14810 piano of 1848 played by Fryderyk Chopin in the Fryderyk Chopin Museum Warsaw    Endymion (1818)   John Keats (1795-1821)   A Poetic Romance (excerpt) BOOK I   A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep A bower quiet for us, and a sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing. One may wonder why in Warsaw I open an important music review of a recording of the music of Chopin played on his last Pleyel piano with a quotation from the immortal English poet John Keats. In the domain of music, the poem arouses a singularly appropriate emotional feeling in my heart. This is one of the most significant recordings one can imagine in these benighted times of human barbarity.  I have always found Keats similar in tender yet passionate poetic temperament to Fryderyk Chopin. The last instrument used by the composer, resting now in the Chopin Museum in Warsaw, was r