A treasure island of piano music — Spiegel Online
The Grand Piano label continues to uncover gems of the piano repertoire. — Fanfare

SZCZERBIŃSKI, ALFONS (1858–1895)

Complete Piano Works • 1


  • Giorgio Koukl, piano

Polish composer Alfons Szczerbiński was born at a time of upheaval in Europe during the second half of the 19th century. A prominent Polish talent in the Romantic mould, Szczerbiński was profoundly influenced by the harmonic models of Bach, Haydn and Mozart. His surviving music is mostly written for the piano but many of his compositions were either lost during the First World War or destroyed by the composer himself. Heard here in their world première recordings, the Chansons sans paroles are Romantic miniatures that possess rich melodic elegance and marvellous phrasal beauty, sometimes redolent of Mendelssohn, Chopin or Liszt.

This recording was made on a modern instrument: Steinway, Model D

Tracklist

 
4 Chansons sans paroles, Op. 3 (1889) (00:02:00 )
1
No. 1. Allegro (00:01:56)
2
No. 2. Andante con espressione (00:02:33)
3
No. 3. Andante con moto (00:02:29)
4
No. 4. Con moto (00:02:13)
 
2 Chansons sans paroles, Op. 5 () (00:08:00 )
5
No. 1. Allegro con fuoco (00:03:19)
6
No. 2. Con moto (00:04:31)
 
4 Chansons sans paroles, Op. 12 () (00:02:00 )
7
No. 1. Con moto (00:02:15)
8
No. 2. Moderato (00:02:19)
9
No. 3. Andante con moto (00:03:05)
10
No. 4. Allegro (00:03:03)
 
4 Chansons sans paroles, Op. 14 () (00:09:00 )
11
No. 1. Andante con moto (00:01:33)
12
No. 2. Andante cantabile (00:01:48)
13
No. 3. Andante con moto (00:03:57)
14
No. 4. Moderato (00:01:32)
15
Chanson sans paroles, Op. 36 () (00:02:23)
16
Chanson sans paroles in D Minor () (00:01:42)
17
Andante cantabile () (00:05:55)
 
3 Valses, Op. 17 () (00:12:00 )
18
Valse No. 1 (00:03:25)
19
Valse No. 2 (00:05:17)
20
Valse No. 3 (00:03:36)
21
Mazurka () (00:02:21)
Total Time: 01:01:12

The Artist(s)

 Giorgio Koukl Giorgio Koukl is a Czech pianist/harpsichordist and composer. He studied at both the Conservatories of Zürich and Milan, where he took part in the masterclasses of Nikita Magaloff, Jacques Février and Stanislas Neuhaus, and with Rudolf Firkušný, friend and advocate of Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů. It was through Firkušný that Koukl first encountered Martinů‘s music, prompting him to search out his compatriot’s solo piano works. Since then he has developed these into an important part of his concert repertoire and is now considered one of the world’s leading interpreters of Martinů’s piano music. As a logical continuation of this work, Koukl has recorded the complete solo piano works of Paul Le Flem, Alexander Tcherepnin, Arthur Lourié, Vítězslava Kaprálová, Witold Lutosławski, and more recently, Alexandre Tansman, Vittorio Rieti and Tibor Harsányi.

The Composer(s)

Alfons Szczerbiński The known oeuvre of Alfons Szczerbiński largely consists of works for piano. Even this relatively modest sampling, however, identifies Szczerbiński as a prominent Polish talent in the Romantic mould who took it upon himself to compose music for poems by Adam Asnyk, Michał Bałucki, or Friedrich von Matthisson (some of the latter’s poems were also set to music by Ludwig van Beethoven and by Franz Schubert).