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Oskar KOLBERG (1814-1890)
Pieces for Piano and Songs
CD1: Mariusz Rutkowski (piano)
CD2: Anna Radziejewska (mezzo soprano); Karol Kozłowski (tenor); Tadeusz Szlenkier (tenor); Dariusz Stachura (tenor); Mariusz Rutkowski (piano)
rec. August 2014, the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music, Lusławicach
No song texts or translations
DUX 1142-43 [67:42 + 72:44]

Oskar Kolberg occupies an important place in Polish musicological history. His ethnographic research was extensive and he succeeded in collecting a vast array of nineteenth-century folk music, in multiple volumes, to which generations of scholars and musicians have been hugely indebted. But he was not just a collector and educator, he was also a composer. He studied in Warsaw and in Berlin and, when circumstances allowed – in the later 1850s he was more often to turn from composition to musical criticism – he produced a stream of piano pieces and songs in particular.

Dux divides these genres so that each occupies a single disc. The piano works include a raft of folk-based mazurkas – staple fare for a Polish composer – a number of which occupy the territory of genially generic. In these circumstances the Mazurka he composed in 1876 (CD1 track 3) stands out for its comparatively advanced harmonies, whilst elsewhere the inevitable presence of Chopin can be felt. The more extensive Polonaises extracted from the Op.1 set reveal a similarly assured compositional hand. The Six Contradanses franēaises are sweet miniatures, charming and unpretentious. Perhaps the Fantasy Mazurka (track 25) is one of the best examples of his sense of vivacity and characterisation, its decorative narrative sounding well in this performance.

There are 27 individual songs, parcelled out amongst three tenors and a mezzo, anchored here – and throughout – by hard-working and resilient Mariusz Rutkowski. The songs mirror the piano settings in their rather circumscribed emotional heft and adherence to established models. Some are rather penny-plain whilst others (CD2 track 7) adopt a vocal-mazurka style with a Schubertian admixture. Songs both avuncular and melancholic – the sequence of Jasolka (tracks 15-17) an example of the latter trait – are part of Kolberg’s palette though there are occasions where an attractively lyric vocal line is sabotaged by indifferent piano writing. It’s also the case that a number of the settings have a rather Biedermeyer quality, as well as some blink-and-they’re-gone folk settings that last barely 30 seconds.

The performances are admirable and the musicians are adroit guides to pieces that have localised charm but sometimes lack definable expressive power. The lack of texts, however, will be a real problem.

Jonathan Woolf
CD1: Piano solo
Mazur – (rękopis, teka 51/1358, k. 163r-v) (DWOK 69 nr 88 II) [2:31]
Mazur – Mazourkas op. 8, nr 1, s. 2-3, F. Spiess (DWOK 69 nr 47) (1847) [1:41]
Mazur – Mazourkas et autres danses polonaises nr 1, s. 3, M. Leitgeber (DWOK 69 nr 43 III) (1876) [1:38]
Kujawiak – Sześć kujawiaków op. 19, nr 4, s. 9-11, I. Klukowski (DWOK 69 nr 40) (1850) [3:31]
Mazur – (rękopis, R 1218, k. 1) (DWOK 69 nr 84) [2:46]
Polonaise – Six polonaises op. 1, nr 2, s. 4-6, T. Trautwein (DWOK 69 nr 64) [5:39]
Polonaise – Six polonaises op. 1, nr 6, s. 14-15, T. Trautwein (DWOK 69 nr 68) [4:28]
Six contredanses franēaises op. 4 (1844) [9:01]
Valse – Valses. 2-3 G. Sennewald (DWOK 69 nr 69) (18363) [3:18]
Mazur – Dwa mazury, nr 1, s. 1-2, F. Spiess (DWOK 69 nr 44) (1841) [2:17]
Mazurka – Mazurka d’apres un theme populaire (rękopis, teka 2184, k. 186r-v) (DWOK 69 nr 83) [2:30]
Kujawiak – Kujawiaki w stylu gminnym z. 1 nr 9, s. 15-17 G. Sennewald, (1844) [2:43]
Mazur – Dwa mazury, nr 2, s. 2-3, F. Spiess (DWOK 69 nr 45 II) (1841) [3:02]
Mazur – (rękopis, teka 51/1358, k. 171r-v) (DWOK 69 nr 87) [1:49]
Mazur – Mazourkas op. 8, nr 9, s. 16-17, F. Spiess (DWOK 69 nr 55) (1847) [2:05]
Mazur – Mazur, “Tygodnik Ilustrowany” nr 431, s. 308 (DWOK 69 nr 60) (1867) [1:51]
Polonaise – Six polonaises op. 1, nr 1, s. 2-3, T. Trautwein (DWOK 69 nr 63) [5:02]
Polka – Polka pour le piano, s. 2-3, R. Friedlein (DWOK 69 nr 73) (1859) [1:47]
Grande Valse Brillante op. 23, s. 3-10, A. Dzwonkowski (DWOK 69 nr 72) (1861) [4:53]
Wielki Mazur Fantastyczny (rękopis, teka 51/1358, k. 165r-v, 166r) (DWOK 69 nr 88) [5:12]

CD2: Songs
Talizman, autor słów nieznany, „Pamiętnik Muzyczny Warszawski” nr 6 (1836) [3:19]
Pod Twym okienkiem I, sł. Julian Heppen, Skarbiec salonowych śpiewów nr 4 s. 3 (DWOK 68 nr 2) [1:11]
Pod Twym okienkiem II, sł. Julian Heppen (rękopis, teka 51/1358, k. 142r) (DWOK 68 nr 2 II)
Młodo zaswatana, sł. J.B. Zaleski, Trzy pieśni… s. 3-5 (DWOK 68 nr 3) [3:13]
Rojenia wiosenne, sł. J.B. Zaleski, Trzy pieśni… s. 6-10 (DWOK 68 nr 4) [1:36]
Śpiew poety, sł. J.B. Zaleski, Trzy pieśni… s. 11-15 (DWOK 68 nr 5) [3:51]
Do dziewczyny, sł. Gustaw Zieliński, “Tygodnik Ilustrowany” t. 1. nr 24. s. 285-287 (DWOK 68 nr 6) (1868) [10:08]
Ułan polski, sł. E. Wasilewski, Echa minionych lat z. 1, s. 87 i z. 2, s. 61 (DWOK 68 nr 7)
Gdy na górach świta dzionek, sł. K. Zakrzewski (rękopis, teka 51/1358, k. 143r-v) (DWOK 68 nr 8) [2:47]
Dumny kochanek I, sł. K. Zakrzewski (r?kopis, teka 51/1358, k. 141r) (DWOK 68 nr 9)
Dumny kochanek II, sł. K. Zakrzewski (r?kopis, teka 51/1358, k. 139r) (DWOK 68 nr 9 II)
Krakowiak, autor słów nieznany (rękopis, R 1219, k. 83v) (DWOK 68 nr 10) [0:29]
Dumka, sł. T. Lenartowicz (rękopis, teka 51/1358, k. 142v) (DWOK 68 nr 11) [3:37]
Co mi tam, sł J.B. Zaleski (rękopis, teka 51/1358, k. 137r-v) (DWOK 68 nr 12) [1:17]
Jaskółka I, sł. S. Pruszakowa (rękopis, teka 51/1358, k. 132r-v) (DWOK 68 nr 13) [4:18]
Jaskółka II, sł. S. Pruszakowa (rękopis, teka 51/1358, k. 133r-v) (DWOK 68 nr 13 II) [2:56]
Jaskółka III, sł. S. Pruszakowa (rękopis, teka 51/1358, k. 134r) (DWOK 68 nr 13 III) [4:30]
Kochanka do gwiazdy, sł. S. Witwicki (rękopis, teka 51/1358, k. 128r-v, 129r) (DWOK 68 nr 14) [3:18]
On zginął I, sł. Julian Heppen (rękopis, teka 51/1358, k. 120r-v, 121r-v) (DWOK 68 nr 15)
On zginął II, sł. Julian Heppen (rękopis, R 1213, s. 1-3) (DWOK 68 nr 16) [4:37]
Przyczyna, sł. S. Witwicki (rękopis, teka 51/1358, k. 125v) (DWOK 68 nr 17) [0:46]
Westchnienie za rodzinną chatką, sł. J. B. Zaleski (rękopis, R.1216, k. 1r-v) (DWOK 68 nr 18)
Wiosna, sł. S. Witwicki (rękopis, teka 51/1358, k. 125r) (DWOK 68 nr 19) [0:48]
Wyjazd, sł. S. Witwicki (rękopis, teka 51/1358, k. 129r) (DWOK 68 nr 20) [1:15]
Zakochana, sł. J.B. Zaleski (rękopis, teka 51/1358, k. 131v) (DWOK 68 nr 21) [1:08]
Piszczałeczko jedyna, autor słów nieznany (rękopis, teka 51/1358, k. 79v) (DWOK 68 nr 22)
Kukułeczko moja siwa, autor słów nieznany (rękopis, teka 51/1358, k. 79v) (DWOK 68 nr 23) [0:35]



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