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jowcol
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« on: August 16, 2012, 02:06:02 am »

Music of Alexandre Tansman


1. Stele- In Memoriam I Stravinsky
Orchestre Nationale, M. Seizan
Radio Broadcast   Jan, 24, 1973

2.  Sinfonietta Nr. 2
Nouvel Orch. Phil. Radio France
V. Karanjiev
Radio Broadcast, October 12, 1981

3-8. Alexandre Tansman: Suite Baroque
New York Philharmonic
Vladimir Golschmann, conductor
Radio Broadcast, 23 February, 1961

Note: you may view the program from the latter performances here:  http://archives.nyphil.org/index.php/artifact/3935c4eb-5aff-4691-b4ed-7fc262d3d6c9/fullview

Here are some excerpts from the Wiki Bio on Tansman:


Alexandre Tansman (12 June 1897 – 15 November 1986) was a Polish-born composer and virtuoso pianist. He spent his early years in his native Poland, but lived in France for most of his life. His music is primarily neoclassical, drawing on his Polish and Jewish heritage as well as his French musical influences.[1]

Early life and heritage
Tansman was born and raised in the Polish city of Łódź during the era when Poland did not exist as an independent state, being part of Tsarist Russia.
The composer wrote the following about his childhood and heritage in a 1980 letter to an American researcher:
"... my father's family came from Pinsk and I knew of a famous rabbi related to him. My father died very young, and there were certainly two, or more branches of the family, as ours was quite wealthy: we had in Lodz several domestics, two governesses (French and German) living with us etc. My father had a sister who settled in Israel and married there. I met her family on my [concert] tours in Israel. ... My family was, as far as religion is concerned, quite liberal, not practicing. My mother was the daughter of Prof. Leon Gourvitch, quite a famous man."[citation needed]

Career
Though he began his musical studies at the Łódź Conservatory, his doctoral study was in law at the University of Warsaw. Shortly after completing his studies, Tansman moved to Paris, where his musical ideas were accepted and encouraged by mentors and musical influences Igor Stravinsky and Maurice Ravel, as opposed to the more conservative musical climate in his native Poland. While in Paris, Tansman associated with a crowd of foreign-born musicians known as the École de Paris; though Honegger and Milhaud tried to persuade him to join Les Six, he declined, stating a need for creative independence. (Tansman later wrote a biography of Stravinsky that was extremely well received.)
Tansman always described himself as a Polish composer, though he spoke French at home and married a French pianist, Colette Cras.

In 1941, fleeing Europe as his Jewish background put him in danger with Hitler's rise to power, he moved to Los Angeles (thanks to the efforts of his friend Charlie Chaplin in getting him a visa), where he made the acquaintance of Arnold Schoenberg. Tansman composed the score for at least two Hollywood movies: Flesh and Fantasy, starring Barbara Stanwyck, and a biopic of the Australian medical researcher Sister Elizabeth Kenny, starring Rosalind Russell. He scored six films in all. He was nominated for an Academy Award in 1946 for Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture, for Paris Underground (there was a huge field of 21 nominations, and the winner was Miklós Rózsa for Spellbound).

Though Alexandre Tansman returned to Paris after the war, his disappearance from the European musical scene left him behind the musical currents of the time, and no longer fresh in the minds of the public, which slowed his previously fast-rising career. No longer in tune with the French fashions, which had moved on to the avant-garde style, Tansman returned to his musical roots, drawing on his Jewish and Polish background to create some of his greatest works. During this time he began to reestablish connections to Poland, though his career and family kept him in France, where he lived until his death, in Paris, in 1986.

According to the Paris-based Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs, Tansman used the name "Stan Alson" when he composed jazz music.
Today the Alexandre Tansman Competition for promising musicians is held in his honor every other year in his birthplace of Łódź, in order to promote his music and the local culture.

Music
Tansman was not only an internationally recognized composer, but was also a virtuoso pianist. From 1932-33 Tansman performed worldwide for audiences including Emperor Hirohito of Japan and Mahatma Gandhi; he was regarded as one of the greatest Polish musicians. Later he performed five concert tours in the United States, including as a soloist under Serge Koussevitsky with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, as well as having a thriving career in France as a concert performer.

Tansman's music is written in the French neoclassical style of his adopted home, and the Polish styles of his birthplace, drawing on his Jewish heritage. Already on the edge of musical thought when he left Poland (critics questioned his chromatic and sometimes polytonal writing), he adopted the extended harmonies of Ravel in his work and later was compared to Alexander Scriabin in his departure from conventional tonality.

One of Tansman's letters states that "it is obvious that I owe much to France, but anyone who has ever heard my compositions cannot have doubt that I have been, am and forever will be a Polish composer."[citation needed] After Chopin, Tansman may be the leading proponent of traditional Polish forms such as the polonaise and the mazurka; they were inspired by and often written in homage to Chopin.[citation needed] For these pieces, which ranged from lighthearted miniatures to virtuoso showpieces, Tansman drew on traditional Polish folk themes and adapted them to his distinctive neoclassical style. However, he did not write straight settings of the folk songs themselves, as he states in a radio interview: "I have never used an actual Polish folk song in its original form, nor have I tried to reharmonize one. I find that modernizing a popular song spoils it. It must be preserved in its original harmonization."[citation needed]

He is perhaps best known for his guitar pieces, mostly written for Andrés Segovia—in particular the Suite in modo polonico (1962), a collection of Polish dances. Segovia frequently performed the work in recordings and on tour; it is today part of the standard repertoire. Tansman's music has been performed by musicians such as Segovia, Walter Gieseking, José Iturbi, Jane Bathori, Joseph Szigeti, Pablo Casals, Gregor Piatigorsky, and Igor Zubkovsky and most recently Chandos Records has increased his profile, with the start of a series of his orchestral works, recorded by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Oleg Caetani.






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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2012, 09:12:07 am »

Thanks for the great Tansman post, Jowcol. He was the first L'ecole de Paris composer I got interested in, after finding a used copy of his string quartet cycle at the Princeton Record Exchange some years ago. His polytonal harmonic language and brisk style just swept me off my feet and I've been an enthusiast ever since. At this point, I have almost all of his available music on CD or MP3 and have been slowly accumulating his scores for further study. In my most recent foray into the library system, I found scores for his first piano concerto (not recorded), a ballet based on Tolstoy's Resurrection, and his opera Sabbatai Zevi. Having completed lists for his comrades Mihalovici and Harsanyi, I've been meaning to assemble a works list for him for years, but haven't yet gotten around to it. Maybe I'll do that next. His catalogue is a little spotty, since (a.) he didn't use opus numbers and (b.) a number of early works are lost, including his first string quartet and his first piano trio.
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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2012, 07:35:04 pm »

Artur Malawski: Tryptuk Goralski (1949-1950)
(Translation: Moutaineer’s or Highlands Triptych)


Orchestration  of piano version with radio intro and outro 
Polish RN Symphony Orchestra
Maciej Zoltowski, conductor
11 November 2005

From the collection of Karl Miller

I had hesitated in posting this to UC because there was already a performance posted there.

Bio from the USC Polish Music Center

BRIEF BIOGRAPHY

Artur Malawski was born on 4 July 1904 in Przemyśl and died on 26 December 1957 in Kraków. He graduated from the Kraków Conservatory of Music (studies under J. Chmielewski) with a high distinction as a violin virtuoso in 1928, and then from the Warsaw Conservatory of Music with two diplomas - in composition under K. Sikorski and conducting under W. Bierdiajew in 1939. He lectured on composition, conducting and theory at the State Higher School of Music in Kraków from 1945 until his death, where his pupils included Penderecki and Schaeffer. He also taught conducting at the State Higher School in Katowice (1950-54). In addition, Malawski appeared as a conductor of symphony orchestras in concert halls and on the radio. In the years 1948-51 he was practitioner of the Polish Section of the ISCM. His conducting activities were restricted largely to his own works as he devoted most of his time and energy to composition.

Malawski received many awards for his works, among them in 1946 the Award of the Kraków Voivodeship; in 1949 - the Second Prize at the Chopin Competition for Composers in Warsaw for his Symphonic Variations, and the Third Prize at the same competition for Toccata and Fugue in the Form of Variations; in 1952 - the State Award of the Third Degree for The Peaks; in 1955 - the State Award of the Second Degree for his composer's and teaching activities in the previous decade; in the same year - the Prize of the Festival of Polish Contemporary Music and the Award of the Minister of Culture and Art for Symphonic Studies and for Trio for Piano, Violin and Violoncello; in 1956 - the Award of the Polish Composers' Union for the whole of his composer's and teaching activity; in the same year - the Order of the Banner of Labor of the Second Degree; in 1957 - the Music Award of the City of Kraków for his creative work, especially for his Symphony No.2.




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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2012, 05:20:50 pm »

Koscielec 1909 by Wojciech Kilar


Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Jerzy Maksymiuk, conductor

Radio broadcast, date unknown

From the collection of Karl Miller

The radio intro here describes a LOT about the work.



Wikipedia Bio


Biography
Wojciech Kilar is one of Poland’s esteemed composers. Born in 1932 in Lwów (now a city in Ukraine, it was part of Poland at the time). [1] His father was a gynecologist and his mother was a theater actress. Kilar has spent most of his life since 1948 in the city of Katowice in Southern Poland,[2] married (from April 1966 to November 2007) to Barbara Pomianowska, a pianist.[3] Kilar was 22 years old when he met 18 year old Barbara, his future wife.[4]

Education

Kilar studied at some of Poland's finest music academies, including the State Higher School of Music in Katowice, under the composer and pianist Władysława Markiewiczówna, graduating with top honors in 1955. He continued his post-graduate studies at the State Higher School of Music in Kraków from 1955 to 1958 under composer and pianist Bolesław Woytowicz. In 1957 he participated in the International New Music Summer Course in Darmstadt. Kilar expanded on his musical education in Paris in 1959-60, when a scholarship from the French government allowed him to study composition under Nadia Boulanger[5].

Music career
 Wojciech Kilar belonged (together with Boleslaw Szabelski, his student Henryk Górecki and Krzysztof Penderecki) to the Polish Avant-garde music movement of the Sixties. In 1977 Kilar was one of the founding members of the Karol Szymanowski Society, based in the mountain town of Zakopane. Kilar chaired the Katowice chapter of the Association of Polish Composers for many years and from 1979-81 was vice chair of this association's national board. He was also a member of the Repertoire Committee for the "Warsaw Autumn" International Festival of Contemporary Music. In 1991 Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi made a biographical film about the composer titled Wojciech Kilar.

Having received critical success as a classical composer, Kilar scored his first domestic film in 1959, and has since gone on to write music from some of Poland's most acclaimed directors, including Krzysztof Kieslowski, Krzysztof Zanussi, Kazimierz Kutz and Andrzej Wajda. He worked on over 100 titles in his home country, including internationally recognised titles such as Bilans Kwartalny (1975), Spirala (1978), Constans (1980), Imperativ (1982), Rok Spokojnego Slonca (1984), and Zycie za Zycie (1991), plus several others in France and across other parts of Europe. He made his English-language debut with Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of Dracula. His other English language features — Roman Polanski's trio Death and the Maiden (1994), The Ninth Gate (1999) and The Pianist (2002), and Jane Campion's The Portrait of a Lady (1996) — were typified by his trademark grinding basses and cellos, deeply romantic themes and minimalist chord progressions.

In addition to his film work, Kilar continues to write and publish purely classical works, which have included a horn sonata, a piece for a wind quintet, several pieces for chamber orchestra and choir, the acclaimed Baltic Canticles, the epic Exodus (famous as the trailer music from Schindler's List), a Concerto for Piano and Orchestra dedicated to Peter Jablonski, and his major work, the “September Symphony” (2003).[6]

Having abandoned Avant-garde music technical means almost entirely, he continues to employ a simplified musical language, in which sizable masses of sound serve as a backdrop for highlighted melodies. This occurs in those compositions that reference folk music (especially Polish Highlander Gorals folk melodies) and in patriotic and religious pieces.

Awards

Wojciech Kilar has received numerous awards for his artistic activity and achievements, including prizes from the Lili Boulanger Foundation in Boston (1960), the Minister of Culture and Art (1967, 1975), the Association of Polish Composers (1975), the Katowice province (1971, 1976, 1980), and the city of Katowice (1975, 1992).[7] He has also been awarded the First Class Award of Merit of the Polish Republic (1980), the Alfred Jurzykowski Foundation Prize in New York City (1984), the Solidarity Independent Trade Union Cultural Committee Arts Award (1989), the Wojciech Korfanty Prize (1995), the "Lux ex Silesia" Prize bestowed by the Archbishop and Metropolitan of Katowice (1995), and the Sonderpreis des Kulturpreis Schlesien des Landes Niedersachsen (1996).

Kilar's film scores have also won him many honors. He received the best score award for the music to Ziemia obiecana / The Promised Land (dir. Andrzej Wajda) at the Festival of Polish Films in Gdansk in 1975. This was followed by the Prix Louis Delluc, which Kilar was awarded in 1980 for the music to an animated film titled Le Roi et l'Oiseau / The King and the Mockingbird, (dir. Paul Grimault). One year later he collected an award at the Cork International Film Festival for the music to Papież Jan Pawel II / Pope John Paul II / Da un paese lontano: Papa Giovanni Paulo II (dir. Krzysztof Zanussi).

Perhaps his greatest success came with his score to Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula, for which Kilar received the ASCAP Award 1992 from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Producers in Los Angeles and the prize for best score in a horror film in San Francisco in 1992. The Polish State Cinema Committee honored Kilar with a lifetime achievement award in 1991, while in 1976 he was decorated with the Cavaliers' Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta. In November 2008 Kilar was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.



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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2012, 12:59:18 am »

Thank you very much indeed, Matthias, for the Skrowaczewski Symphony Smiley Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2012, 01:10:51 pm »

You will have to excuse me. I am pretty sure this was disccused at the time at UC but I cannot remember and have no access to that site.

In my catalogue of downloads I have-

Skrowaczewski Symphony for Strings(1947-49) and a work which I have entitled "Symphony No.3(1946)" but the Symphony 2003 dowloaded is clearly the same piece as the "Symphony No.3".

Can anybody clear up my confusion Huh
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2012, 03:33:40 pm »

Hello Colin,

the UC-archive entry concerning the above Symphony is exactly identical to what "britishcomposer" has posted.

The entry related to the Symphony for Strings is:

Quote
Stanisław Skrowaczewski Symphony for Strings
St Pauls Chamber Orchestra
Dennis Russell Davies, Conductor.
Date Unknown

From the collection of.Karl Miller

Link http://www.mediafire.com/?sa4cy9hp24g6rct
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2012, 04:31:43 pm »

Gentlemen,

I'm afraid the Symphony (2003) of Skrowaczewski is exactly the same as on my cd OEHMS OC 712.
On the cd a subtitle: in memory of Ken Dayton
So they must have either been relaying a cd, or it came afterwards on cd.
(the tinings on  the cd are only differing because the timing of part 1 is 16:01 part 2 only 5:49. (on the dowload the time for mvmt 1 and 2 are ident.)  Listening to it: it is the same.

Sorry,

Elroel
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2012, 05:16:21 pm »

Tanks, Elroel! I have deleted the reposting.
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markniew
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2012, 06:39:06 pm »

as to upload of Symphony 2003 by Skrowaczewski I did it in March 2012.

I took it off radio in May 2005. It is recording of the live performance done during the Polish Radio 8th Festival „80 years on the air” in  W. Lutosławski Studio/Warsaw on 15.05.2005.

movements were announced by the speaker, division into parts were made by myself just roughly so it can be as elroel says.
For sure  the performers were as below:
STANISŁAW  SKROWACZEWSKI  (1923)
Symphony 2003   (2003)     
 1     Lento misterioso     10:46
 2     Presto tenebroso   10:59
 3     Adagio      15:17   
Polish Radio National SO
cond. Stanisław Skrowaczewski

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Elroel
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2012, 10:59:37 pm »

Markniew/britishcomposer,

About Skrowaczewski again: I listened to the first part and compared the timings and concluded they were the same.
After Marek's comment I saw that the orchestras were different. In the following movements there were slight differences.
And listening to the complete symphony, the sound is not exactly the same, but very close.
So Skrowaczewski stayed very close to his other performance.

On the Oehms cd Skrowacewski is leading the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken.

So I must apologize for being to hasty with my conclusion and I think one of them could decide to re-upload it, for benefit of the other members..


Best regards


Elroel


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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2012, 05:37:27 pm »

So....(and you will please excuse me if I appear incredibly stupid).....there is NO Symphony No.3, written in 1946 by Skrowaczewski.

(I have not been able to compile a catalogue of his orchestral music Sad)
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kyjo
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« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2012, 12:57:18 am »

Thanks, Sicmu, for the Zulawski Suite in the Old Style Smiley! I had never heard of this composer before. As well as being a musician, Zulawski was also an eminent alpinist, but, unfortunately, this career led to his tragic early death at age 41 when he died during a rescue action on Mount Blanc Sad. I wonder, what is it with Polish composers dying in mountain climbing accidents (Karlowicz is the most notable and tragic of these)? Here's his Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wawrzyniec_Zulawski
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« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2012, 03:52:58 pm »

Thanks, Sicmu, for the Zulawski Suite in the Old Style Smiley! I had never heard of this composer before. As well as being a musician, Zulawski was also an eminent alpinist, but, unfortunately, this career led to his tragic early death at age 41 when he died during a rescue action on Mount Blanc Sad. I wonder, what is it with Polish composers dying in mountain climbing accidents (Karlowicz is the most notable and tragic of these)? Here's his Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wawrzyniec_Zulawski
Actually, Karlowicz was a cross-country skier, not an alpinist.  I think that's what he was doing when the avalanche killed him.
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« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2012, 04:55:40 pm »

Wow! I can just seeing him whizzing off in his ski pants & goggles! Fair play to him! A man of action!! Grin
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