Tapestry of Colours
Karol Szymanowski -
'... a rewarding partnership ...'
The music of Szymanowski is to many an acquired taste and yet, I would maintain, it is a taste well worth trying to acquire. It is rich, exotic and voluptuous, resisting analysis rather as does Delius, and perhaps not for those whose interest in music is stimulated by analytical logic.
His two rhapsodic violin concertos, although separated by almost twenty years, have much in common with each other. Both are single movement works, and both are quite clearly creations of the same musical imagination, colourfully orchestrated and harmonically illusive. They are both also the result of the composer's close friendship with the violinist Pawel Kochanski whom he first met when they were both students at the Warsaw Conservatoire, the composer nineteen and the violinist fourteen.
Two other students, pianist Artur Rubinstein and conductor Grzegorz Fitelberg joined them to call themselves 'The Musketeers' and form the heart of the Mloda Polska or Young Poland group of musical pioneers, maintaining their friendship throughout life -- the second concerto became a memorial to Kochanski, who died in 1934 a year after he and Fitelberg had given its first performance. Kochanski, to whom both concertos are dedicated, collaborated on the composition of the solo parts and wrote both cadenzas.
Copyright © 27 September 2007
Patric Standford, Wakefield UK