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Krystian Zimerman

Szymanowski: Works for Piano (CD)

For this album Zimerman has selected repertoire that for him shows the essence of Szymanowski, aiming to shed new light on his music and place him firmly in the canon of great composers of piano music. Each work or group of pieces represents a different, distinctive stage in his development. The album features the "Masques op. 34," recorded in 1994 but never released, alongside interpretations of the "Variations on a Polish Folk Theme op. 10" and selections of "Préludes" and "Mazurkas."

One of today’s leading pianists sheds new light on an unjustly overlooked composer: for Krystian Zimerman, Karol Szymanowski’s piano music deserves to stand alongside that of their compatriot Chopin.

When Krystian Zimerman travelled to Fukuyama, Japan, in June 2022, it was to complete a journey that had taken 28 years: a recording of music by his compatriot Karol Szymanowski that he had first begun in 1994. The spur came on the one hand from the fast approaching 140th anniversary of Szymanowski’s birth (* 6. Oktober 1882), and on the other hand from the prospect of recording in a beautiful concert hall in Fukuyama designed by Zimerman’s friend Yasuhisa Toyota, whose acoustics Zimerman has long admired. “In Toyota’s halls, every note is clear,”  Zimerman says, “yet each is in a cushion of warm surroundings.”

KAROL SZYMANOWSKI (1882–1937) from Préludes op. 1 No. 1. Andante ma non troppo (in B minor) No. 2. Andante con moto (in D minor) No. 7. Moderato (in C minor) No. 8. Andante ma non troppo (in E flat minor) Masques op. 34 No. 1. Shéhérazade. Lento assai. Languido No. 2. Tantris le Bouffon. Vivace assai No. 3. Sérénade de Don Juan. Vivace from Mazurkas op. 50 No. 13. Moderato No. 14. Animato z elegancją i grandezzą No. 15. Allegretto dolce. Naiwnie i sentymentalnie No. 16. Allegramente. Vigoroso Variations on a Polish Folk Theme op. 10 Andante doloroso rubato Tema. Andantino semplice Var. 1. Meno mosso Var. 2. Agitato Var. 3. Lento mesto, ma poco agitato Var. 4. Allegro molto agitato Var. 5. Andantino Var. 6. Andante dolcissimo Var. 7. Più mosso Var. 8. Marcia funebre Var. 9. Più mosso (Allegro) Var. 10. Finale. Allegro vivo