Chopin & Szymanowski - Polish Musical Genius
The symphonic concert is dedicated to two of Poland's most accomplished composers. The programme includes Fryderyk Chopin's "Grande Valse Brillante E-major, Op. 18" (transcribed for orchestra by Zdzisław Szostak) and "Concert e-moll for piano and orchestra, Op. 11" as well as Karol Szymanowski's "I Violin Concerto, Op. 35"
Among his eighteen waltz's, Chopin only published a mere eight. The first of these was the "Waltz in E-major", composed in 1833. In accordance to Chopin's other works, the piece carried the title of "Grande Valse Brillante" and is an example of forming simple dance styles with excelled compositional skill. With an orchestral arrangement by Zdzisław Szostak, the piece is one of the composer's most performed works.
"I Violin Concerto, Op. 35" was composed by Karol Szymanowski for his closest friend, the accomplished pianist Paweł Kochański. The violinist also helped prepare the concerto and was the first to perform it in a concert given in New York. The piece is regarded as the first modern work of its kind. The composer chose not to use the aesthetics of nineteenth century romanticism and the major-moll system, instead replacing dramatic expression with emotive expression, endowing the compositions with expressionist tones.
The innovative musical language of Szymanowski is based on contrasts between the emotional lyricism of the violin parts and the dramatic inclusion of the orchestra. From its first performances, the piece was a critical and commercial success. A Parisian reviewer recalls in 1925 that: "You could say that [in this concert] the landscape is constantly changing- like in a film"
Closing the evening will be Chopin's "Concert e-moll for piano and orchestra, Op. 11" which follows the classical style of Wolfgang Amadeusz Mozart. The middle larghetto is set in the form of a nocturne, whilst the final part is a clearly influenced by the dynamic Krakowiak.
- Cheung Chau – conductor
- Sinfonietta Polonia,
- Anna Maria Staśkiewicz – violinist
- Maria Masycheva – piano
The concert takes place in China's Forbidden City Concert Hall, which is part of the Forbidden City. It was built in 1942 and completely restored in 1997.
The concert is part of the International Karol Szymanowski Festival, entitled: "Karol Szymanowski – an artist before his time"
Date: 9th of August, 2011.
Venue: Forbidden City Concert Hall, Beijing
Organisers: Fundacja Muzyczna APOLLO, the Embassy of the Polish Republic in Beijing, Beijing
Project cofinanced by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland
Source: Adam Mickiewicz Institute
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