CD Classico

In recent years there has been a growing interest in the music of Polish composer Karol Szymanowski (who was born in 1882 and died in Lausanne in 1937). That interest has been sparked in part by symphonic performances by Simon Rattle and Pierre Boulez and the Divine Art label has done a great service in releasing this four- CD box set which contains the complete works for piano of this great author, who died of cancer of the larynx , after his health had been weakened by alcohol and cocaine.

This set goes to make up a considerable gap in the discography of Szymanowski and that it is essential to have an overview of his musical vision which is so refined . the originality of the music of this extraordinary Polish author might have ensured that his name would remain isolated, little known, if it were not for the support of interpreters , especially on the piano , starting with Vladimir Horowitz and Vladimir Ashkenazy up at that brilliant and sensitive interpreter John Ogdon . If one focuses on the influences of his music, this can allow you to better appreciate its expressive dimension . If at in the orchestral and symphonic field the influence of Debussy and early expressionism of Germanic and Central Europe schools, for instance Alexander Zemlinsky, are felt, as regards his pianism, his language is more complicated . Let’s say there is a triad behind Szymanowski informing his vision , that is, Scriabin , Ravel and Bartok . However, the treasure chest of his music for the piano contains many gems , starting from Studies Op . 4 to the Mazurkas Op. 50 going through to the refined Métopes Op . 29 and the second Sonata in A major . South Korea’s Lee Sinae proves to be , with English Raymond Clarke, the ideal interpreter of the piano music of Szymanowski . What is striking about thi s pianist is the meticulous a ttention with which she faces every piece (not for nothing that the thesis for her master’s degree in musicology has been dedicated to the work of this Polish composer ). A n album really ideal for those who like the great pianists of the twentieth century .

—Andrea Bedetti