Maria Szymanowska

Maria Szymanowska, a Polish composer from the beginning of the 19th century, was the artistic muse of such literary personalities as Goethe and Mickiewicz. Her music is typical of early romanticism. Its charm lies in its melodic meanders and its pioneering search for new piano textures (pioneering by the standards of its contemporaries).   The personality of the composer gives it additional magic. At the beginning of the 19th century, Maria Szymanowska had the courage to break off her bourgeois marriage, not to be the subject of scandalised gossip in the salons of her day, but to develop her talent. I was inspired to find out more about her work by her fascinating biography and by two of her miniatures, which have remained popular to this day. Not many of her works have been published recently. Most of them are available in 19th– century editions or in manuscript form. I tried to select what appear to me to be the most valuable of her compositions. The Polish record company DUX took an interest in my project. The resulting disc includes two of Szymanowska’s longer works, her Fantasia and Caprice ( recorded for the first time ever on this disc), a selection of mazurkas and polonaises, and two nocturnes ( the best known pieces in the Szymanowska repertoire). The preludes are the most interesting from an artistic point of view. In these pieces Szymanowska was able to shine by her creative inventiveness and her feeling for the instrument. Listen