The Polish composer Roman Statkowski (1859-1925) studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with Anton Rubinstein and Nicolay Rimsky-Korsakov, and in 1890 he began his teaching career in Kiev. He then spent about a decade managing various piano stores, and spent the rest of his career teaching composition at the Warsaw Conservatory.
Statkowski wrote two operas, six string quartets, music for violin and piano, some songs, and a great many short pieces for piano, but his name and much of his music remained virtually unknown for the better part of a century.
The music on this CD would be right at home in the metropolitan European salons of the second half of the 19th century. It is music of extreme sensitivity that is written beautifully for the piano. The Preludes and Mazurkas are direct descendants of the works of Chopin, though they often go to harmonic places that sound more like Rachmaninoff, and the salon pieces are whimsical, light, and evocative.
Statkowski is by no means an innovator, but he does have a unique and personal voice as a composer. I am very happy that the Polish Pianist Barbara Karaskiewicz, who plays this music exquisitely, has recorded his excellent piano music. I look forward to hearing more music by this nearly-forgotten composer.
One of the most brilliant successors to the Romantic genres popularized by Chopin, yet hardly known outside Poland, Statkowski's music is full of sparkling energy, rhythmic vitality and a mass of wonderful melodies. For anyone who loves the classical romanticism of the mid to late 19th century, Statkowski is a composer to be checked out and investigated in depth.
The virtuoso Polish pianist Barbara Karaskiewicz has championed Statkowski's music for some time, and has a close affinity with the music. With formidable technique in the glittering fast passages she is the ideal interpreter.
Roman Statkowski (24 December 1859 – 12 November 1925) was a Polish composer, most notable for his operas and chamber music.Statkowski was born in Szczypiorno, near Kalisz, and initially trained as a lawyer. When he abandoned law for a musical career, he studied with Władysław Żeleński in Warsaw and then at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory with Nikolai Soloviev and Anton Rubinstein, graduating at the age of 31 in 1890.
His musical influences were mainly Russian, specifically Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky, but he was also attracted to German music such as the tone poems of Richard Strauss and the operas of Hans Pfitzner. His work has been described as linking the post-Moniuszko composers and the generation of Szymanowski.
Dr. Barbara Karaśkiewicz was born in communist Poland and took her first piano lesson at the age of five. She graduated from the University of Music in Katowice, Poland with distinction (1999) under Prof. Monika Sikorska-Wojtacha. During the 1990s, she won major prizes at several competitions, including the 4th International Karol Szymanowski Competiton in Łódź (Poland); the 20th Century Music Competition in Warsaw and the Mozart Competition in Gdańsk, Poland, among many others.
After having graduated from the University she further honed her piano skills in postgraduate studies under Prof. Wojciech Świtała. In 2013 she completed her Ph.D. in piano performance at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, Poland.Barbara performs all over Europe and in South America. She can boast of a broad solo and chamber music repertoire, spanning from Baroque music to contemporary works. She is especially keen on playing works by the neglected of rarely performed composers. This is her fourth CD.
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Roman Statkowski: Preludes op. 37 nos. 1 & 6 for piano
Roman Statkowski (1859-1925): Piano Music / Barbara Karaskiewicz, piano