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Thread: Grażyna Bacewicz

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    Senior Member Janspe's Avatar
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    Default Grażyna Bacewicz

    I was shocked to find out that there was no Composer Guestbooks thread for Grażyna Bacewicz (1909-1969), one of Poland's most remarkable (and neglected, at least outside of Poland) composers. Her output is very varied, and although it concentrates occasionally on the violin - Bacewicz was a skilled violinist - there's a lot of other stuff to delve into as well. Concertos, symphonies, string quartets, chamber music...

    I've listened to six of her seven violin concertos (the sixth remains unpublished, unfortunately) and her two piano quintets. At the moment I'm exploring her sonatas for piano and violin, of which there's a complete recording. Her 2nd piano sonata (recorded by Zimerman, for example) is a marvelous work. Sadly, quite a lot of her music remains unrecorded...

    Any fans of Bacewicz here? I'm determined to fight for her music to be more well-known. It would be great fun to hear one of her violin concertos live in concerts, if only every now and then!

    Here's a video of Bacewicz playing one of her short works for piano and violin, Oberek, with her brother Kiejstut Bacewicz:


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    Senior Member Portamento's Avatar
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    Great composer, and outstanding violinist! I am only familiar with the violin concertos, of which I like the Second and Third the best. Her late works are nice, but in my opinion lack the originality of earlier efforts.
    Last edited by Portamento; Aug-05-2017 at 05:31.

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    She would easily make my top 5 composers from Poland. Chandos issued six of her violin concertos on 2 CD's, well worth while.
    Und Morgen wird die Sonne wieder scheinen.....

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    Senior Member Janspe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portamento View Post
    Her late works are nice, but in my opinion lack the originality of earlier efforts.
    Curiously enough, I find her later works more appealing than the earlier ones! Out of her violin concertos, the 7th is my favourite. Make sure to check out her two piano quintets, I think they are really interesting pieces of music.

    Pianist Krystian Zimerman said of Bacewicz: "I'd like to honour a composer to whom I and all the rest of us owe a great deal. I thought about recording the two quintets as long ago as 2002, when I presented Deutsche Grammophon with my recording plans for the next few years. I was still a student when I first got to know Grażyna Bacewicz's works in the 1970s. At that time my repertory included the Second Piano Sonata. This is a work I continue to perform at my recitals, and I should add that wherever I play it, it always goes down very well with audiences. After my recitals I am regularly asked: 'Who wrote this music? Where can I get hold of a copy of the score? Are there any recordings?'"

    Zimerman's wonderful reading of the 2nd piano sonata can be found from Spotify. There's also a live performance on YouTube: 1st movement / 2nd movement / 3rd movement

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    I recommend the two volumes of string quartets on Naxos.
    "When a man is treated like a beast, he says, 'After all, I'm human.' When he behaves like a beast, he says, 'After all, I'm only human.' " - Karl Kraus

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    Junior Member wrycker's Avatar
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    Just listened to this sonata by Zimerman. Really nice! Thanks for let us discover her
    "Although your grapes are superb, I don't like my wine in capsules." -Gioachino Rossini.

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    The Concerto for String Orchestra is a charmer and would become popular if people played it more.

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    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
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    A fine composer, whom I believe has been mentioned before, if not here, than in other classical music forums, but still underrated and underappreciated in my opinion. Thanks very much for mentioning her here.

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