Joachim Mendelson / Grażyna Bacewicz chamber works

Joachim Mendelson / Grażyna Bacewicz chamber works

CHAN 20181 (Chandos Records, CD)

FIRST RELEASE (7 July 2023)

Playing time: 56'00"
Tracks: 13
Booklet pages: 32
℗ 2023 Chandos Records Ltd
© 2023 Chandos Records Ltd
Main country of recording: Poland
Reviewer: Geoff Pearce
Review of Joachim Mendelson / Grażyna Bacewicz chamber works published on 29 May 2023

Silesian Quartet:
Szymon Krzeszowiec, violin
Arkadiusz Kubica, violin (tracks 1-3, 7-13)
Łukasz Syrnicki, viola
Piotr Janosik, cello

Karolina Stalmachowska, oboe (tracks 4-6)
Piotr Sałajczyk, piano (tracks 4-6)

Joachim Mendelson (1892-1943):

String Quartet No 1 (early 1930s?)
1 Moderato con spirito - Pi&egrgave; mosso - Poco più lento ma non troppo - Poco più mosso - Tempo I - Più agitato e energico - Più lento ma non troppo - Poco più mosso - Tempo I - Più mosso - Andante - Poco a poco appassionato e accelerando - Allargando - Tempo I
2 Largo - Poco agitato - Adagio (Più mosso) - Più mosso - Poco a poco ritenuto - Lento - Poco agitato - Lento - Poco agitato - Adagio (Più mosso)
3 Allegro con brio molto vivace - L'istesso tempo - Con fuoco e anima - Più tranquillo - Poco accelerando - L'istesso tempo

Quintet (1939) for Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano, and Oboe
4 Allegro - Un poco più lento - Scherzando - Tempo I - Meno mosso - Tempo I - [ ] - Tempo I - Un poco più lento - Più mosso e energico - Energico - Un poco allargando - A tempo
5 Molto lento espressivo
6 Allegro con brio - Più lento - A tempo - Più agitato - Meno mosso ma non troppo - Tempo I - Molto agitato - Quasi furioso - Tempo I - Più lento - Tempo

Grażyna Bacewicz (1909-1969):

String Quartet (1929-30) (Youthful work, edited by Royal String Quartet)
7 Allegro moderato
8 Molto adagio
9 Fuga. Allegro molto moderato – Cadenza

Quatuor (à cordes) (circa 1965, edited by Royal String Quartet)
10 Allegro - Tempo commodo - Meno mosso - Poco più mosso - Grandioso
11 Grave – Meno mosso – Tempo I
12 Capriccioso
13 Maestoso - Poco più mosso - Poco meno mosso - Più mosso

The award-winning Silesian Quartet presents a new album featuring two composers from Warsaw - Joachim Mendelson and Grażyna Bacewicz. After completing his music studies in Warsaw and Berlin, Mendelson moved to Paris in 1929, where he joined the Association des Jeunes Musiciens Polonais, a society founded in 1926 to facilitate the study, publication, and promotion of the works of young Polish composers. Bacewicz also received support from the Association, and from Paderewski, and studied in Paris with Nadia Boulanger. The association's aims included re-establishing a national musical life at the highest level back in Poland (after more than a century of joint occupation by Russia, Prussia, and Austria), and both composers returned to Warsaw and worked there until 1939. Mendelson taught at the Institute of Music, and Bacewicz became leader of the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra and continued her career as a composer and soloist. Mendelson was imprisoned in the Warsaw ghetto until 1943 when he was murdered by the Gestapo. Five of his works survive, thanks to the French publisher Max Eschig, including the Quartet and Quintet recorded here. The two works by Bacewicz on this recording were rejected by the composer, and never included in her catalogue of works. It is extremely lucky that the manuscripts have survived, preserved at the National Library in Warsaw. Half a century after her death the Royal String Quartet prepared performing editions and gave the first performances.