We invite you to a recital by Piotr Alexewicz, during which the pianist will present works of the greatest Polish composer of the Romantic era.
Frederic Chopin combined in his work the innovation of the musical language with the love for the culture of his native country. It was the author of the "Revolutionary" Etude in C minor who introduced the stylisations of Polish dances into the canon. We will hear such pieces during Alexewicz's recital.
The four mazurkas from opus 24 were written in Paris in 1833–1834 and were published in 1836 by the M. Schlesinger publishing house. The manuscript sent to the Paris branch of the publishing house at 97 rue Richielieu was lost. It is known from the preserved first edition that the artist dedicated the entire series to Duke Léon-Amable de Perthuis de Laillevault, who, together with his wife, Duchess Élise de Perthuis, took Chopin under their patronage. The first in this collection, the Mazurka in G minor, is often compared to the rhythm of a heartbeat, as the composer, by building its melodic line through the masterful use of chords, set the rhythm of tension and relaxation (the first and last note in the bar). The next one, Mazurka in C major brings to mind the playing of a folk band. The Mazurka in A flat major, third in the opus, opens with a cheerful melody based on a kujawiak. It is the shortest dance in the entire collection and was dedicated to Luiza Linde, wife of Samuel Linde – director of the Warsaw Lyceum, where Mikołaj Chopin taught French. The last, Mazurka in B flat minor, has two layers: in one we hear a melody full of melancholy reverie, and the other becomes visible when we analyse the score – the sounds come together like two people who want to meet, but they cannot connect.
Alexewicz will play the Waltz in A flat major op. 64 no. 3, the last one published during the composer's lifetime, and the shortest of the opus. It was written in the years 1846-1847 with a dedication to Katarzyna Branicka, later Countess Potocka. We will also listen to the Ballade in F minor, the last of the four ballades by Chopin, a piano poem full of emotional momentum, devoid of extra-musical references, which were often imposed on it, contrary to Chopin’s wish. In the words of Mieczysław Tomaszewski, this ballad ‘does not imitate anything, it does not illustrate anything. It expresses the experienced world and presents a possible, ideal and imagined world’. Alexewicz will conclude his recital with the Preludes op. 28. They were created at the turn of 1838 and 1839. Chopin worked on them during his stay with George Sand and her children in Majorca. He composed these pieces first in a villa near Palma, and then in the Carthusian monastery in Valdemossa. The idyll turned into anguish as the fair weather gave way to heavy rains that brought the temperature down sharply. However, the collection created at that time is one of the most important and moving works by Chopin. Although ‘prelude’ means an introduction, these miniatures can be performed individually. Yet they make the greatest impression as a whole. His contemporaries fully appreciated the Chopin’s genius, and a delighted Liszt wrote about his works: ‘these are completely unique compositions’.