The stormy years of the First World War paradoxically brought an unusually prolific creative output from Karol Szymanowski. The composer, at that time cut off from Europe in his native Tymoszówka in the Ukraine, situated far beyond the front line and forming an oasis of peace until the outbreak of the revolution, worked with great intensity and concentration and composed a number of outstanding works, in which he crystallised his new ''impressionistic'' style. Apart from the Third Symphony, ''Song of the Night'', it is the First Violin Concerto, Op. 35 that takes pride of place. Composed in the summer and autumn of 1916, it was inspired - like ''Myths'' - by Szymanowskis friend, the outstanding virtuoso-violinist Pawe Kocha ski, whom he consulted while preparing the final version of the solo part and who wrote the stylistically faultless cadenza that constitutes an integral episode in the composition. Revolutionary events frustrated the first performance of the concerto planned for 1917 in St. Petersburg. As a result it took place on 1 November 1922 at the Warsaw Philharmonic under Emil M ynarski with Józef Ozimi ski as soloist, whereas Pawe Kocha ski introduced the concerto to the American audiences two years later. Szymanowski himself gave a concise, but very true characterisation of the work in one of his letters: ''... again various new little notes and at the same time something of a return to the old. The whole awfully fantastic and unexpected''. Those ''new notes'' are the results of his stylistic evolution: the overcoming of German music influences and immersion in the worlds of Mediterranean culture and French music, hence the post-impressionistic harmonies and the sophisticated tonal colour closely associated with them. The instrumental palette of the Concerto glows with splendid colours, and the very beginning of the work - the glittering, vibrating tonal plane, articulated by short ''bird-like'' motifs, from which the first violin solo emerges imperceptibly - is a truly innovative idea. The echoes of Szymanowskis fascination with the Orient at that time resound in exotically coloured motifs and chromatic figurative arabesques. In some episodes, however, notably in the romantically dramatised climaxes, reminiscences of the previous period can be heard. A certain stylistic dualism appears here, but it is just this dualism that reflects the complex personality of the artist, who always absorbed external impulses into his own imaginative world. The unconventional, one-movement form of the work is constructed on the principle of the intertwining of lyric sections characterised by veiled contours with rhythmically dynamicised fast sections and it perfectly harmonizes with the climate of the fairy tale-like fantasy, saturated with an ecstatic emotional fervour typical of Szymanowski. The First Violin Concerto belongs not only to his most distinguished achievements, but it remains one of the most beautiful and original violin concertos of the twentieth century. [Adam Walaci ski, translated by Ewa Cholewka, itroduction to the edtion in the ''Masterpieces of Polish 20th Century Music, PWM 2001]||||||
PWM8597|''The title refers to the Biblical Book of Exodus. The biblical words of the song: we will sing unto Yahwe, for He has triumphed gloriously;...'', which the people of Israel chant after passing through the Red Sea serve as the motto of the composition. The formal concept of the piece refers to M. Ravels ''Bolero''. The composer has confirmed in his statements that this reference is fully intentional. ''Exodus'' would be the third - after Ravel and Shostakovich (Symphony No.7) - version of a fascinating crescendo of form, based on one theme or idea obsessively repeated. Its first performance at the Warsaw Autumn Festival in 1981 provoked a tremendous ovation. The audience, at first confused by the continual repetition of the E-major chord (bursts laughter were even heard), was eventually abducted by the force and dynamism of the composition.||||||
PWM8613|Sonata in D minor is Szymanowski's earliest violin work and was written in 1904. In its conventional character one clearly feels the dependence on the violin sonatas of Franck ahd Brahms and the composer's desire to master the traditional, three-movement cyclic form. Sonata for violin and piano (arranged for cello by Kazimierz Wi komirski), a juvenile work, in spite of the fact that its style is still not crystallised, betrays the composer's growing interest in tone colour and foreshadows the bold and rich melodic line characteristic of Szymanowski's later works.||||||
PWM8739|'Wariacje na temat w asny'' op. 15 powsta y w 1854 i w tym samym roku ukaza y si drukiem, wydane przez firm Breitkopf und Hartel w Lipsku. Kompozycja oparta na technice wariacyjnej posiada nietypow form . Temat z trzemawariacjami (w dur) poprzedza molowy wst p z elementami kadencji. Fragment ten pojawia si ponownie po wariacjach, po czym nast puje fina w formie b yskotliwego walca, zako czony efektown kod . ''Wariacje'' - podobnie jak innekompozycje Wieniawskiego - wymagaj od skrzypka swobody w grze akordowej i oktawowej, umiej tno ci wykonywania ró norodnych form staccata, b yskotliwych pasa y czy innych elementów wirtuozowskiej techniki, jak równie czystociintonacji fla oletów. ||||||
PWM8821|Work on this piece began in the spring of 1899 durng Kar owiczs studies in Berlin and he finished it after graduating and returning home in June 1902. Its premiere took place on March 21, 1903 in Berlin, and the Polish premiere on April 7, 1903 in Lviv. The symphony has a classic, four-movement structure, but in terms of architecture it is much closer to symphonic poems. It consists of the movements: 1. Andante. Allegro 2. Andante non troppo 3. Vivace 4. Allegro maestoso. ''In terms of orchestration and instrumentation technique it represents Kar owiczs early, academic period. The composer still used double wind enriched with piccolo flute, unlike in his later orchestral works the symphonic poems. The orchestration of the work indicates that the composer was guided by Tchaikovskys symphonic model. Kar owicz here still willingly operates with various sound blocks of entire instrumental groups, treating them in a choral manner, with tight chordal pillars'' (Leszek Polony). Before the Polish premiere the composer gave a comprehensive literary programme of the work in the Lviv newspaper S owo Polskie, in which he referred to each consecutive movement of the Symphony. In his last words he wrote, ''We hear a hymn of revival, at first quiet and sweet, then wider and wider, and fuller. Already the time has come; to hear the fanfare. Only one more step! And although the spirits fall again in doubt, we hear a powerful and solemn hymn of rebirth.''||||||
PWM8912|Orawa for chamber string orchestra crowns a series of Wojciech Kilars compositions inpsired by highland folklore. Since its first performance in Zakopane in 1986 it has been a hit in concert halls, delighting with its spontaneity, energy and temperament. In an interview the composer mentioned that he had ''dreamed of creating a piece inspired by highlander band and realized this dream in Orawa. It is pretty much a piece for a magnified folk band and one of the rare examples where I`ve been happy with my work.'' (K. Podobi ska, L. Polony Ciesz si darem ycia).
The set (score & parts) is renting material.
- ISBN: 9788322406731 (8322406738)
- ISMN: 9790274016524 (M274016524)