Akademia Melomana NFM
Music and Diplomacy. On the Work of Xaver Scharwenka
5:30 PM
NFM, VIP Room (+1)

dr hab. Mikołaj Rykowski prof. AMP – prowadzenie wykładu

NFM, VIP Room (+1)
plac Wolności 1, Wrocław

A "Berlin Chopin" or a "Slavic Wagner"? – on the music of Franz Xaver Scharwenka (1850–1924)

Franz Xaver Scharwenka was a German pianist, composer and teacher of Polish descent. He was born in Szamotuły in Wielkopolska (1850–1924) and having received his basic education in his hometown, and then in Poznań (at that time it was part of the Prussian partition - the Province of Poznań), he and his family went to Berlin to study at the Neue Akademie der Künste with composer and pianist Theodor Kullak. His talent developed amid a dispute between German academicism and the more progressive views of the "New Germany" (Wagner and Liszt). These influences, together with the Slavic sensitivity that was shaped in him by his maternal family (née Golisch), led to Scharwenka combining in his mature period an excellent knowledge of form and instrumentation with fantasy, manifested, for example, in the richness of musical thoughts. In the capital of the Reich, he quickly gained recognition as a piano virtuoso and composer (Polnische Tänze op. 3). Then his fame began to reach wider and wider circles. He gave concerts in all important music centres in Europe (from London through Scandinavia to Saint Petersburg). He has also achieved considerable success as a teacher. He was the founder of the Music Conservatory in Berlin and its branch in New York. Overseas, he made several spectacular concert tours. For some time he worked in New York, where he successfully staged Mataswintha at the Metropolitan. The younger of the Schrawenka brothers, he went down in history as a Romantic composer who consciously resisted the new twentieth-century tendencies. As new phenomena emerged in music at the beginning of the 20th century, his thoroughly Romantic work could not withstand the competition with the avant-garde. In fact, Scharwenka was forgotten shortly after his death. To make matters worse, his works became the object of nationalist criticism for the presence of Polish elements in his oeuvre.

The lecture will be delivered in Polish.

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