Polish State Philharmonic Orchestra, Katowice;
Kulka, Konstanty Andrzej;
The first of Szymanowski's two violin concertos was completed in 1916 and is therefore contemporaneous with the monumental Third Symphony, to which it bears no particular resemblance. It was dedicated to the composer's friend Pavel Kochański, who performed it in St. Petersburg in 1917. The first performance, however, was given in Warsaw by Józef Oziminski, during the absence ofKocha1'lski in the United States of America. The Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by Emil Mlynarski.
The second violin concerto was written in 1932 and 1933 and comes near the end of Szymanowski's creative life. The immediate inspiration for the work was Kochański's visit to Poland in August 1932, and the two musicians worked together for some four weeks, particularly on the solo part, providing a sketch of the concerto, which was completed in the following year. The first performance was given on 6th October 1933 in Warsaw by Kochański with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Grzegorz Fitelberg. Like the first concerto it is in one movement, but here what are in effect two movements are linked by Kochański's cadenza. Essentially the music is characteristic of the third period of Szymanowski's creative life, influenced by indigenous musical traditions and particularly by the music of the mountain people, here absorbed into an idiom which is, nevertheless, the composer's own, in all its colour, lyricism and textural clarity. •
The two-movement cycle Nocturne and Tarantella was written in 1915 for violin and piano and is here included in an orchestral version by Grzegorz Fitelberg. The first piece makes subtle use of Spanish folk tradition and allows the violinist room for virtuosity in the Neapolitan conclusion.
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SZYMANOWSKI: Violin Concertos nos 1 & 2
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