Nowowiejski: Piano & Cello Concertos / Kortus, Koziak, Borowicz, Poznań PO

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The work of Feliks Nowowiejski constitutes one of the most interesting testimonies to the stylistic evolution of Polish composers born in the late-19th century. Five years older than Karol Szymanowski, and a year younger than Mieczysław Karłowicz, Nowowiejski chronologically belonged to the Młoda Polska (Young Poland) period. However, he never became a member of the movement; what is more, his artistic path was so individualistic that it is diff icult to talk about the composer’s aff iliation to any group or style. Nowowiejski’s entire long and artistically unusually active life was marked by a series of stylistic shift s, of permanent quests and changes which did not result from a spurious desire to chase the evolution of trends current in the world, but from authentic openness to varied impulses and sources of inspiration. This way, Nowowiejski joins the group of artists who were no strangers to radical stylistic change (e.g. Igor Stravinsky, who was five years his junior, revealed a similar stylistic flexibility). A composer of thorough education, Feliks Nowowiejski followed a path to obtain it that was typical of late-19th-century talents born away from the main centres. He hailed from Barczewo, and the first years of his musical education were associated with his native Warmia i Mazury region: first, at the school of music in Święta Lipka, and later in Olsztyn, where he was a musician of the East Prussia Grenadier Regiment Orchestra. The school in Święta Lipka prepared students for the profession of organist and teacher. It also taught playing various instruments, with particular emphasis put on vocal music. Nowowiejski’s education resembles this of another Slavic composer of the breakthrough era, Leoš Janáček. Like Janáček, Nowowiejski, whose education revealed a particularly conservative trait, in a later stage of his artistic career awoke in himself a modernist talent. What’s more, it was (very unique!) Slavic modernism, which never lost sight of the composer’s origin, and his love for music of greatly varied sources (folk and traditional melodies, church and patriotic songs). Naturally, these were the later years in Berlin, the prestigious Meyerbeer Prize (which he won twice), the extensive studies with Max Bruch that were most important from the point of view of Nowowiejski’s career and renown. As a relatively young composer, he took a place among the most popular composers of his day by storm, while no work by any other Polish composer of the early-20th century could match the worldwide success of Nowowiejski’s oratorio Quo vadis. World War One thoroughly changed the situation. Involvement in the revival of independent Poland and his political engagement (active role in the preparations for the plebiscite in Warmia i Mazury, which Poland eventually lost) made the composer famous at home, but held back his international career (following his association with the plebiscite, the previously successful Quo vadis was no longer performed in Germany).

Product Description:

  • Release Date: March 15, 2024

  • Catalog Number: DUX1883

  • UPC: 5902547018836

  • Label: DUX

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: 20th Century

  • Composer: Feliks Nowowiejski

  • Conductor: Lukasz Borowicz

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra

  • Performer: Jacek Kortus, Bartosz Koziak