Magazine article Gramophone

Szymanowski: 'Piano Works, Vols 4 & 5'

Magazine article Gramophone

Szymanowski: 'Piano Works, Vols 4 & 5'

Article excerpt

Szymanowski 'Piano Works, Vols 4 & 5' Twenty Mazurkas, Op 50--Nos 5-8, 17-20. Piano Sonata No 1, Op 8. Four Polish Dances. Prelude and Fugue. Romantic Waltz. Twelve Studies, Op 33. Variations, Op 3. Variations on a Polish Folk Tune, Op 10 Anu Vehvilainen pf Alba (M)(2) ABCD407 (120' * DDD)

Karol Szymanowski was neither one of the 20th century piano-virtuosocomposers on the model of Bartok or Prokofiev nor an ardent self-publicist of Stravinsky's ilk. For the longest time, if one were curious about his piano music, one had recourse to the recordings of his compatriots, Rubinstein and Makuzyriski, and little else. Gradually others came aboard, Richter in the 1950s, then more recently, a veritable groundswell including Anderszewski, Hamelin, Pontinen, Tiberghien, Jones, Roscoe, Fialkowska, Blechacz, Lortie and many others both inside and outside Poland.

Among those for whom recording a few pieces or a single opus was insufficient, and who resolved to record all the piano music, is the Finnish pianist Anu Vehvilainen. Vols 4 and 5 of her series include works from each of Szymanowski's style periods: the first from 1900 until 1913; the second roughly coinciding with the First World War; and the third from his relocation from Ukraine to Warsaw up to his death in 1937. …

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