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The 19th-century chamber music is the music of salons and virtuosic brillant pieces. Aristocratic salons, often represented by female aristocrats, or salons of artists, instrument builders or publishers were the places where meetings of social-integrative character were organized. This was a kind of a new code of cultural communication, with an enormous contribution on the part of music. The works presented on this CD perfectly fit into this tradition. They are great virtuosic duos, often an outcome of some collaboration between two composers, who also performed them, as the salon-concert repertoire was actually dominated by artists’ own compositions. Duo brillant is most frequently a violin and piano duo, the main canvas of which being a theme derived from an already composed and very popular at the time work. The pieces that enjoyed the greatest popularity were variations and fantasias for a duo, based on the themes from well-known operas. And this is the repertoire one can hear on this CD.

 

It presents four Grand Duos by the two composers: Edward Wolff and Henri Vieuxtemps, written in the period of 1852-1864. Among them, there is an arrangement-romance based on the ‘Halka’ opera by Stanisław Moniuszko, composed by Vieuxtemps only. This fact is very important for the reception of Polish music at the time when the Republic of Poland was erased from the map of Europe. The other three pieces, written by both composers, are arrangements of popular themes from ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, ‘Orpheus and Eurydice’ by Christoph Willibald Gluck and ‘Raymond or the Queen’s Secret’ by Ambroise Thomas. (...)

 

Edward Wolff and Henri Vieuxtemps made an impression on their audience thanks to brilliant technique, virtuosity and elegance of their performance but they also aroused emotions and stirred imagination. Their performances triggered enthusiastic reactions of their listeners, they were loudly applauded and highly acclaimed by critics. They fully met the needs of their epoch. Still, nothing has changed and the 21st-century audience still finds this music moving. This is the message conveyed to us by the Art Chamber Duo – Julita Przybylska-Nowak (piano) and Jarosław Pietrzak (violin), the performers of the repertoire presented on the CD. Duo brillant in their rendition unquestionably proves that it is still the music providing a wide range of expression, not a silly, meaningless trinket. It is worth our attention and, together with the musicians, we should gain an insight into its depth as well as enjoy its airiness.

                                  Alina Mądry

Taking a CD with the nineteenth century Polish music for the violin and piano into their hands, many music lovers are unlikely to suppose that it can take listeners into so extensive  and interesting regions. While such names as Henryk Wieniawski and Józef Wieniawski or Henri Vieuxtemps relatively often appear on records/CDs and concert programmes, you must be rather fortunate or make careful search to find the output of Michał Bergson, Karola Kątski and Edward Wolff. And yet, in the rich picture of the musical life of Europe in the Romantic era, they were well known and recognised composers. Their traces can be found in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, England and France  - in Paris, of course, who brought together many great artists and generated ` number of important artistic trends of several decades of the nineteenth century. After the year 1830, on the wave of the Great Emigration, a rather large group Polish artists arrives in Paris, in a short time, they gain universal recognition and some of them are actually considered the most outstanding virtuosos of the time. Among the pianist, it was Edward Wolff enjoyed such a reputation, both as a performer and composer.


As far as violinists are concerned, it was the Kątski musical family that became widely known. The youngest of the four brothers, Apolinary Kątski, about whom Paganini himself expressed a very flattering opinion in 1838, aroused universal admiration in Europe playing for the general public and the royalty. In 1840, Michał Bergson, a future director of the Conservatory in Geneva, came to Paris to study piano music. (...)

 

Two closely related artists responsible for creating Grand Duo Polonais – a violinist and a pianist, brothers Henryk Wieniawski (1835 – 1880) and Józef (1837 – 1912) Wieniawski. For Henryk this was Op. 8, while for Józef Op. 5. The brothers composed a number of common showpiece compositions, for their own concert performances. They started their active artistic life at an early age – the eight-year-old Henryk, and later the ten-year-old Józef were admitted to the Parisian Conservatory, and graduated with the highest honours. First as ‘Childe prodigies’, and later as young lads, they toured Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Belgium, Austria and France. They were loved by the audiences, whereas the critics could not decide to whom the palm should go.

 Elżbieta Stępnik

 

Edward Wolff & Henri Vieuxtemps

Duo brillant sur des motifs de l’Opéra "Orphée et Eurydice"

Duo brillant sur des motifs de l’Opéra "Les Noces de Figaro"

Henri Vieuxtemps

Scène et Romance de l’Opéra "Halka"

Edward Wolff & Henri Vieuxtemps

Duo brillant sur des motifs de l’Opéra "Raymond"

 

Art Chamber Duo

Julita Przybylska - Nowak - piano

Jarosław Pietrzak - violin

 

 RecArt

Michał Bergson & Karol Kątski

Grand Duo dramatique sur Les Noces de Figaro

 

Edward Wolff & Henri Vieuxtemps

Duo concertant sur des themes de Don Juan

 

Józef Wieniawski op.5 & Henryk Wieniawski op.8

Grand Duo Polonais

 

Art Chamber Duo

Julita Przybylska - Nowak - piano

Grantor                                                     Jarosław Pietrzak - violin

Joseph ( Józef Zygmunt ) SZULC (1875 – 1956) was born in Warsaw into a Jewish family of  musical traditions. His father, Henryk Szulc (1836 – 1903), was a violinist, conductor, composer of dance music, a long-serving member of the orchestra of the Great Theatre in Warsaw. Józef Szulc studied piano and composition ( with Zygmunt Noskowski ) and piano at the Institute of Music in Warsaw. He continued his piano studies in Berlin with Maurycy Moszkowski, where he soon became known as a pianist - virtuoso and excellent accompanist. In 1899 he moved to Paris to study composition with Jules Massenet. He developed his pianistic skills under the guidance of Ignacy Jan Paderewski. He also studied conducting. In 1903 Joseph Szulc took the position of conductor at Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels. The operetta was the main field of Józef Szulc's work. He also created many piano and chamber works as well as songs with piano accompaniment. He died in Paris in 1956.

Joseph Szulc

 

Sonate en la mineur op. 61

Berceuse op. 4

Mélodie orientale

Sérénade

 

Julita Przybylska - Nowak - piano

Jarosław Pietrzak - violin                                                        DUX

Joseph Achron

Scher op. 42

 

Aleksander Tansman

Romans

 

Joseph Szulc

Berceuse op. 4

 

Joseph Achron

Hebrew Lullaby op. 35 nr 2

 

 

Art Chamber Duo

Julita Przybylska - Nowak - piano

Studio Grantor                                 Jarosław Pietrzak - violin