Jerzy Maksymiuk was born in Grodno. He graduated from the Warsaw Conservatory in piano under Jerzy Lefeld, and in composition under Piotr Perkowski. He won the National Ignacy Jan Paderewski Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz in 1961. Maksymiuk is a champion of new music and was a founding member of the Polish Contemporary Music Society. He has composed a number of symphonic works, chamber and ballet pieces, songs and film scores. He received a Gold Medal from the Elgar Society for promoting the music of Edward Elgar as well as an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from the Strathclyde University in Glasgow. Additionally, the Maestro has received the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, the Gloria Artis Gold Medal, and the Superwiktor, a lifetime achievement award for outstanding television personalities.
The Motion Trio is an accordion ensemble founded in 1996 by Janusz Wojtarowicz, who is also the group’s leader and primary composer. Along with Paweł Baranek and Marcin Gałażyn, the group is known for using the endless capabilities of the accordion in their music, while they continually explore the new possibilities of this instrument, and strive to change the way that it is perceived. The band has performed on six continents and in forty-two countries. In 2000, they won the Grand Prix at the IV Krzysztof Penderecki International Contemporary Chamber Music Competition. They have received endless recognition for their 13 recordings and praise for their numerous appearances. The musicians were honoured with the Honoris Gratia by the Mayor of the City of Krakow in recognition for contributions to Krakow and its inhabitants in 2011.
Iwona Hossa graduated from the Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań, having studied voice with Ewa Wdowicka. She won the Grand Prix and gold medal at the Maria Callas International Singing Competition in Athens and the Mozart Special Prize at the Ada Sari International Vocal Competition in Nowy Sàcz. Hossa made her début as Violetta in La Traviata at the State Opera in Poznań in 1996 and since 2000 has been a soloist at the National Opera in Warsaw. In 2004, she was honoured with the Andrzej Hiolski Award for the best female role at the National Opera in Warsaw.
Ludwig van Beethoven composed his Fourth Symphony in 1806 and led the first private performance at the Lobkowitz Palace in March 1807, in Vienna. The public premiere took place on April 13, 1808, in Vienna’s Burgtheater. Regrettably, the Fourth Symphony is frequently overshadowed by the more dynamic Third and Fifth symphonies. Following the celebrated Eroica and written during the sketches of the beloved Fifth Symphony, it was also surrounded by great works like the Appassionata Sonata, the three Razumovsky Quartets, the opera Fidelio, the Fourth Piano Concerto and the Violin Concerto Op. 61. Upon Beethoven’s death, Robert Schumann declared it “a slender Grecian maiden between two Nordic giants,” and one critic stated of Beethoven, after its premiere "That the composer follows an individual path in his works can be seen again in this work; just how far this path is the correct one, and not a deviation, may be decided by others. To me the great master seems here, as in several of his recent works, now and then excessively bizarre, and thus, even for knowledgeable friends of art, easily incomprehensible and forbidding."
The feature some such critics might have proclaimed ‘bizarre’ is the dissonance built in the introduction preceding the Allegro vivace, which is rich with melodies. The Adagio of the work is an expressive rondo in E-flat major and the third movement combines elements of Scherzo and Minuet with the trio section repeated. Here Beethoven created a five-part structure instead of the standard three-part form. The Symphony then concludes with perpetual motion in the Allegro with nods the work of Haydn. Even as late as the end of the nineteenth century, George Grove, of the renowned Dictionary of Music and Musicians, stated that this symphony “is a complete contrast to both its predecessor and successor, and is as gay and spontaneous as they are serious and lofty.”
Alixandra Porembski, English Language Annotator