Anderszewski argues importance of composer Szymanowski

Posted on: April 27, 2010

In Tuesday’s (4/27) Wall Street Journal, Stuart Isacoff writes, “Polish pianist Piotr Anderszewski once summed up the profound appeal of his country’s most famous composer, Frédéric Chopin, by describing his music as an impeccably tailored French suit—perfectly cut and elegantly designed—within which we can perceive the stifled wails of an entire nation. … The pianist’s arguments for the importance of the lesser-known Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937) can be heard in a series of three concerts at Carnegie Hall. The first, with the Philadelphia Orchestra, took place on April 13, with a performance of this composer’s ‘Symphonie concertante,’ Op. 60 for piano and orchestra. On May 1 and 2, Zankel Hall will be the setting for additional chamber works by Szymanowski, as well as pieces by Janáček, Bartók and Schumann. ‘He was influenced by many musical trends,’ Mr. Anderszewski admits, ‘in a period—especially before the first World War—of incredible turmoil, decadence and what seemed like the end of the world. You may say his work is lacking in a clear sense of style, but for me it is the opposite: He actually summarized European music of his time. He is, for me, the symbol of the cosmopolitan composer of his era, a synthesis of all that was happening.’ ”

Posted April 27, 2010