Author Topic: Zygmunt Denis Antoni Jordan de Stojowski (Sigismond Stojowski) (1870-1946)  (Read 8180 times)

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Offline Maciek

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I was going to post this in the Stojowski thread. And then I realized - there is no Stojowski thread!

I'm not sure Little-known Polish composers before 1945 could take this, so I'm starting a Stojowski thread myself.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed a very interesting new DUX release (Still haven't got it. Has anyone?):



It contains Suite for Orchestra in E-flat major Op. 9, Le printemps – cantata for mixed choir and orchestra Op. 7, and Prayer for Poland Op. 40. Performed by the Białystok Philharmonic Orchestra and Podlasie Philharmonic Choir under Marcin Nałęcz-Niesiołowski plus assorted soloists (Violetta Bielecka, Maciej Nerkowski, Rafał Sulima, Marta Wróblewska). Well, it's DUX, who did you expect - KCO under Chailly?
« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 07:59:04 AM by Maciek »

Offline Maciek

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For those somewhat put off by the cheesy title: this is the same guy who wrote the 2 Piano Concertos released a couple of years ago by Hyperion.




Later complemented by a CD of piano solo music:



Putting it briefly: a sort of less-known Paderewski. Or a completely-forgotten Rachmaninov. Or an unknown Melcer.




Wait a minute, did I say "unknown Melcer"? :P ;)

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Zygmunt Denis Antoni Jordan de Stojowski (Sigismond Stojowski) (1870-1946)
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2008, 01:07:57 PM »
Maciek,

I wondered whether you had managed to pick up the Dux cd of Stojowski's choral and orchestral music?

Musicweb gives the CD a good review which encourages me to investigate-

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2008/June08/stojowski_dux0625.htm

The only problem is that-as with the disc of Meyer concertos I wrote about yesterday-Dux CDs are expensive in the UK :(

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Zygmunt Denis Antoni Jordan de Stojowski (Sigismond Stojowski) (1870-1946)
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2008, 01:15:37 PM »
OK-instant update!

I just found a cheap copy via Amazon Marketplace-so I have ordered it :)

I shall let you know what I think of the music(which, of course, you may now have yourself heard!)

Offline Maciek

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Re: Zygmunt Denis Antoni Jordan de Stojowski (Sigismond Stojowski) (1870-1946)
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2008, 03:12:49 PM »
Ha! I'll be looking forward to your comments! I actually noticed that Musicweb review yesterday myself, and thought it was high time to finally order the damn thing - but the list of CDs I should finally order is loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong. (And also, in the past two months I've spent a fortune repairing and revamping our computers, and funds are now running low. ;D)

BTW, DUX CDs are not prohibitively expensive over here (the standard price is approx. 30 zlotys = 7 pounds apiece). And the Polish internet store merlin (www.merlin.pl) does ship abroad (and so do others, probably). UPS shipping is 20 pln per package + 4 per CD, if I understand their scheme correctly - which I'm not 100% sure of. Come to think of it, the shipping does add up to quite a lot. But if you bought a big, big bundle of discs... ;D

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Zygmunt Denis Antoni Jordan de Stojowski (Sigismond Stojowski) (1870-1946)
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2008, 03:31:49 PM »
For those somewhat put off by the cheesy title: this is the same guy who wrote the 2 Piano Concertos released a couple of years ago by Hyperion.




I have this disk, and it is really very good indeed. Comparing to Rahkmaninov is quite valid, IMO. Same long, lyric line, lovely harmonies. I will look into the solo piano music disk you mentioned. :)

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Offline Dundonnell

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Ha! I'll be looking forward to your comments! I actually noticed that Musicweb review yesterday myself, and thought it was high time to finally order the damn thing - but the list of CDs I should finally order is loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong. (And also, in the past two months I've spent a fortune repairing and revamping our computers, and funds are now running low. ;D)

BTW, DUX CDs are not prohibitively expensive over here (the standard price is approx. 30 zlotys = 7 pounds apiece). And the Polish internet store merlin (www.merlin.pl) does ship abroad (and so do others, probably). UPS shipping is 20 pln per package + 4 per CD, if I understand their scheme correctly - which I'm not 100% sure of. Come to think of it, the shipping does add up to quite a lot. But if you bought a big, big bundle of discs... ;D

Well, I did get the Stojowski disc and have just listened to it for the first time.

The Suite is amiable enough although its first movement is the best with a set of five variations on Witaj, Krolowo nieba which operate on a higher level than the other two movements. The Cantata 'Le Printemps' is very short(a mere 7 minutes) but the remaining work, the Cantata 'Prayer for Poland' is-for me-the highlight of the disc; a splendidly impassioned and grandiloquent work written in 1915 in the USA and obviously very much inspired by Stojowski's love for his native country and his desire to see Poland freed from foreign occupation and oppression. It certainly builds to a series of grand climaxes with organ prominent.

The drawback is that the recording seems slightly muddy. I can imagine a better orchestra than the Bialystok Symphony(or the Podlaise Philharmonic Orchestra in Bialystok as it is alternatively and confusingly described) in a clearer acoustic delivering a performance of more glowing colours which would enhance this work's dramatic potential!

Online Brian

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I have this disk, and it is really very good indeed. Comparing to Rahkmaninov is quite valid, IMO. Same long, lyric line, lovely harmonies. I will look into the solo piano music disk you mentioned. :)

8)
How favorable might the comparison be?

Offline Maciek

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Well, the proper name seems to be Orkiestra Symfoniczna Filharmonii Podlaskiej (Podlasie Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra), but since it's seated in Białystok (and it is the only symphony orchestra there, AFAIK) it is sometimes referred to as the Bialystok (Phil.) Symph. Orch. Which is obviously a bit confusing. (There might have been an official name change at some point too, to add to the confusion, I'm not sure.)

It's definitely not one of the best ensembles around here, though not abysmal either (they have at least 4 albums on DUX and 1 on Acte Prealable). And then, some other Polish labels go to even greater lengths in finding little known ensembles and performers (Acte Prealable signs up some of the oddest names I have seen - even while it also hires some top rank chamber ensembles like the Wilanów Quartet). I think Nalecz-Niesiolowski is a pretty good conductor, maybe even better than that. Anyway, the Podlasie Philharmonic has a nice marketing strategy: their Friday concerts are broadcast online (and excerpts are archived for later viewing! not that I know how to make them work ::)), and you can listen to many full tracks form their CDs (including the Stojowski) on their site as well. See here (and note some of the new variations to their name - a bonus only available to users of the English version of that site! ;)).

How favorable might the comparison be?

Very! ;D

Offline Maciek

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Brian, do you ever clear your PM inbox? ::) ;D

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Zygmunt Denis Antoni Jordan de Stojowski (Sigismond Stojowski) (1870-1946)
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2009, 07:52:38 AM »
Just acquired my second Stojowski recording, i.e. Music for Piano w/ Johathan Plowright; I was completely enthralled w/ these compositions; well constructed w/ beautiful melodic lines & harmonies - have the Piano Concertos, and will likely explore his orchestral and chamber works next!  :)

Born in 1870 in Poland, he studied in Paris in the late 1880s, and after graduation w/ Paderewski.  He settled in NYC in 1905 and was appointed head of the piano department of the new Institute of Musical Art (later becoming part of the Julliard School of Music).  In 1915, he became the first Polish composer to have an entire program of his music performed by the NY PO!

During his lifetime, he was one of the most highly respected post-Romantic composers, an exceptional pianist, and sought after teacher.  He died in NYC in 1946.  I am just amazed (and have been so many times before w/ other 'lost' composers) that he is now so little known.  :D


For those somewhat put off by the cheesy title: this is the same guy who wrote the 2 Piano Concertos released a couple of years ago by Hyperion.
Later complemented by a CD of piano solo music:



Putting it briefly: a sort of less-known Paderewski. Or a completely-forgotten Rachmaninov........
« Last Edit: October 20, 2009, 08:00:50 AM by SonicMan »

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Zygmunt Denis Antoni Jordan de Stojowski (Sigismond Stojowski) (1870-1946)
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2009, 08:22:44 AM »
This thread has eluded me until now. Stojowski is a very fine composer, whose piano concertos and solo piano works on Hyperion I enjoy a lot (as already mentioned, his music compares somewhat to Rachmaninov's, although it doesn't often reach those levels). The Dux issue looks interesting enough to warrant further investigation.  8)