The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: A FREE concert of Polish piano music is on this Sunday afternoon at the UW-Madison | October 20, 2018

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By Jacob Stockinger

The Ear has received the following announcement to post:

On this Sunday afternoon, Oct. 21, at 4 p.m., University of Oklahoma Professor Igor Lipinski (below) will perform a solo piano recital with commentary at Mills Concert Hall of UW-Madison’s Mead Witter School of Music. Mills Hall is located at 455 North Park Street in the George Mosse Humanities Building.

At this FREE CONCERT, Lipinski will perform music by 19th through 21st century Polish composers: Fryderyk (Frederic) Chopin, Karol Szymanowski, Ignaz Jan Paderewski, Grazyna Bacewicz and Pawel Mykietyn. (Editor’s note: Sorry, no titles of specific works are listed.)

Since classical music from Poland has been rarely performed in concert halls in Madison, this recital will be a unique occasion to experience Poland’s musical heritage and diversity.

This concert also commemorates the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining independence at the conclusion of World War I, after 123 years of its partition and disappearance from the map of Europe.

Please join our local Polish community in celebrating this joyous occasion through appreciation of beautiful and captivating music from some of the Poland’s most important composers.

This event is organized by the Polish Student Association of UW-Madison and Mad-Polka Productions, with cooperation and financial support provided by Lapinski Fund (UW-Madison German, Nordic and Slavic Departments) and the Polish Heritage Club of Madison as well as the Sounds & Notes Foundation from Chicago.

ABOUT THE PERFORMER:

Prof. Igor Lipinski is native to Poland and currently teaching at the University of Oklahoma. At the age of 12, he won a Grand Prize at the Paderewski Piano Competition for Young Pianists in Poland.

He is a musician, piano teacher, performer and also a magician, sometimes surprisingly combining all of his interests during his performances.

He received his Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from Northwestern University and since then performed over 100 concerts, both solo and with orchestras, all over the U.S.

This will be his debut in Madison.

For more information, go to: www.igorlipinski.com

ABOUT THE COMPOSERS:

Fryderyk (Frederic) Chopin (1810-1849, below): He was born in Poland, but also composed and performed in Germany, Vienna and France. Probably the most prominent Polish composer as well as pianist and performer. Much of Chopin’s inspiration came from Polish village music from the Mazovia region. Chopin composed 57 mazurkas – the mazurka being one of his most beloved type of compositions. He also composed numerous polonaises, concertos, nocturnes and sonatas. (You can hear famous Polish pianist Arthur Rubinstein perform Chopin’s famously nationalistic “Heroic” Polonaise in the YouTube video at the bottom.)

Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937, below): Part of “Young Poland” group of composers at the beginning of 20th century, Szymanowski composed operas, ballets, sonatas, concertos, cycle of songs, string quartets. Many of his compositions were also inspired by Polish folk music, including the famous ballet “Harnasie” based on the culture of Polish highlanders which he experienced while living in Zakopane.

Ignaz Jan Paderewski (1860-1941, below) was a remarkable figure in Poland’s turn-of-the-century history. He was a pianist, composer, statesman, politician, philanthropist, actor, businessman, patron of the arts and architecture, wine grower and humanitarian. As a pianist, he was praised for his interpretations of music of Chopin, Liszt, Bach and Beethoven. He successfully toured western Europe before eventually setting off for the USA. Starting with his first 1891 tour he crossed U.S. about 30 times in his 50-year career.

He was a very popular, charismatic and somewhat extravagant figure, which eventually resulted in “Paddymania” phenomenon. He was largely influenced by Chopin in his composition of sonatas, concertos, polonaises, Polish dances, symphonies, mazurkas, krakowiaks, minuets and even one opera. He also relentlessly supported and lobbied for Poland ‘s independence as World War I unraveled.  He influenced U.S. politicians and played a crucial diplomatic role in Poland regaining its independence in 1911.

Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969, below): Violinist, pianist, teacher, writer and composer, she was one of the few female classical music composers at the time in Poland and in the world. Thanks to a generous grant from Ignaz Jan Paderewski, she was able to study music in Paris. She composed numerous concertos, string quartets, sonatas, symphonies.

Pawel Mykietyn (1971-, below in a photo by Oliva Soto): Composer, clarinetist, member of Nonstrom Ensemble. In 1995, he won a first prize in the young composers category during the UNESCO composers competition in Paris. Mykietyn’s composing style is at times aggressive and postmodern, incorporating sharp rhythms to create a vivid and provocative sound. He has composed concertos, sonatas, symphonies, preludes and string quartets.

Thanks to all the sponsors and community support, this concert is FREE and open to the public.

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1 Comment »

  1. All-Polish Piano Recital Is a Splendid Introductory Sampler

    by

    Tyrone Greive

    Madison music lovers were treated to a recital of all Polish classical piano music on Sunday, October 21. Presented by Polish-born and Polish and American-trained Igor Lipinski, a member of the University of Oklahoma faculty, the concert featured miniatures by Chopin, Szymanowski, Paderewski, Bacewicz and Mykietyn along with the performer’s highly informative remarks about each of the composers and their music. Beginning with four Chopin mazurkas, the program appropriately emphasized Chopin’s widely beloved music by also including selections from his nocturnes and preludes. Intermingled with the Chopin selections were those by the other composers, all of whose selections demonstrated strong influences of the famous earlier pianist-composer.
    Indeed, some of the all-too-rarely-heard latter also have strong reputations. Paderewski, who is also famous for his roles as a legendary pianist, generous philanthropist and politician (and the Polish representative who signed the Versailles Treaty formally ending WWI), was represented by his widely beloved Minuet as well as a highly romantic nocturne and the dance-based Cracovienne, Op. 14, No. 6. Karol Szymanowski, who is most famous for his prominent role in ushering 20th-century elements into Polish music, was heard in three very early, highly romantic preludes from his Opus 1. The highly active final movement of the early 1950s Piano Sonata No. 2 by female violinist-composer Grażyna Bacewicz, a former student of Szymanowski as well as Boulanger in Paris, and two preludes by the currently active Paweł Mykietyn (b. 1971) created more vivid contrasts with their newer sonorities.
    The audience in UW’s Mills Hall was unusually large and diverse, given the number of fine musical offerings taking place in Madison during this time of the year. Its rapt attention and universally enthusiastic responses (including final standing ovations) to Lipinski’s strongly committed, polished performances of universally appealing music throughout the almost one and half-hour recital (without intermission) were rewarded with two encores: Chopin’s Nocturne in C-Sharp Minor, op. posth. and Piazzolla’s Milonga del Angel arranged by its performer.
    Organized by the UW-Madison Polish Student Association and Mad-PolKA Productions and supported by the Lapinski Fund of the UW-Madison German, Nordic and Slavic Dept, the Polish Heritage Club – Madison, WI and Chicago’s Sounds & Notes Foundation, this was one of numerous all-Polish concerts that Lipinski has presented. Indeed, fine Polish classical music is so large and stylistically diverse that, hopefully this recital will instigate many of its attendees to more fully investigate this ‘under-explored’ repertoire.

    Comment by Szymon Wozniczka — November 7, 2018 @ 11:35 pm


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