Tadeusz Majerski: Concerto-Poem and Other Works


The Polish pianist-composer Tadeusz Majerski (1888–1963), who spent his life in Lwów (now Lviv in Ukraine), has been entirely lost from sight. But he wrote some of the most interesting Polish music of his day, bringing together late-Romantic sensitivity and the modern outlook of the new age. This first album dedicated to his work presents one of his major scores, the rhapsodic Concerto-Poem for piano and orchestra, as well as two powerful chamber works and a number of representative piano miniatures.

Michał Drewnowski, piano
Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Track 1)
Emil Tabakov, conductor (Track 1)
New Art Chamber Soloists (Tracks 2–11)
Arkadiusz Dobrowolski, cello (Tracks 12-13)

Listen To This Recording:

    Concerto-Poem for piano and orchestra (1946, rev. 1956; scoring rev. and ed. Emilian Madey, 2008–9)

  1. Concerto-Poem for piano and orchestra
  2. Piano Quintet in the Form of Variations:

  3. Andante – Tema: Andante semplice
  4. Var. I L’istesso tempo
  5. Var. II Allegro feroce, ma non troppo
  6. Var. III Allegretto
  7. Var. IV Allegro deciso
  8. Var. V Allegro, ma non troppo
  9. Var. VI Allegretto con moto
  10. Var. VII Andante con magna espressione
  11. Var. VIII Allegretto con moto
  12. Var. IX Allegro – Andante
  13. Sonata for Cello and Piano:

  14. I Largo ma in tempo rubato
  15. II Allegro con brio
  16. Four Piano Preludes:

  17. No. 1, Misterioso. Lento non troppo
  18. No. 2, Allegro appassionato
  19. No. 3, Andante molto espressivo
  20. No. 4, Presto ma non troppo
  21. La Musique Oubliee: Three Musical Pictures

  22. No. 1 Sorrow
  23. No. 2 In the Dark
  24. No. 3 At the Crossroad
  25. Three Pieces for Piano:

  26. No. 1 Etude
  27. No. 2 Unsentimental Waltz
  28. No. 3 Prelude

First Recordings

3 reviews for Tadeusz Majerski: Concerto-Poem and Other Works

  1. :

    “… he was counted among the first generation of Polish dodecaphonists in the 1930s. The evidence of this CD suggests he adopted his own modified and romantically adapted approach. I had at first wondered if we were about to be ushered into the presence of another Darmstadt adherent but the music is quite otherwise. The Concerto-Poem put me in mind of Ireland’s Legend and Bax’s Winter Legends but is more accommodating of stretches of dissonance; … Majerski touches on the late-romantic territories of Rachmaninov and Medtner during the swelling heroics at 10:00 and 11:31 and at the very close. … The performances are passionate to match the essence of these strenuous and protestingly unruly slices of this composer’s imaginative world. The other works tend towards brevity, which is intriguing given that romantics of this and earlier eras have tended to spread themselves more than Majerski. The brilliant and very enjoyable Piano Quintet in the Form of Variations is cotton-wool cocooned and very surgingly romantic for its date although folk elements do enter the fray (tr.6). The rounded and appealingly melodic dignity of the Cello Sonata has the same rolling majesty to be found in John Foulds’ very much earlier Cello Sonata and there’s gambolling energy in the last of the two movements. The Four Piano Preludes comprise a shrouded Misterioso that shakes off the mist with the same bell-tower heroism to be found in the Concerto-Poem. … The baritonal chiming introspection of the first of the Three Musical Pictures contrasts with the pessimistic In the Dark and the comforting blue horizons of At the Crossroad. This latter mood essay should be in the repertoire of all concert pianists. … Another fresh and refreshing revival from Toccata selected from an unfashionable and untilled corner of the Polish field.” –Music Web International, January 2017

  2. :

    ‘There’s a ripe late-Romanticism coursing through the Concerto-Poem for piano and orchestra but it’s shadowed by some combustible orchestral outbursts. Perhaps the nearest association would be a dissonant Medtner – the form itself reminding one of Medtner’s own predilection for pianistic poem narratives. There are moments of almost Shenandoah-like lyricism, though they too are shot through with dissonant elements; the splendidly dramatic end evokes Rachmaninovian triumph. The Piano Quintet … opens with a recurring tick-tock motif. … there’s a rather earthy folkloric variation that reminds one of what Grażyna Bacewicz was doing in her contemporaneous chamber music. … So, an interesting style-shifting work. … Insistent aggression isn’t often a feature of Majerski’s music but it’s present in the second of the Four Piano Preludes, the most avant-garde piece in this disc – an unsettled intensity settles over the set. La Musique Oubliée is later and much more emollient, though there’s an uneasy quality to the depiction of ‘Sorrow’, ‘In the Dark’ and ‘At the Crossroad’ – the last of which is a delightful picture-poem. The Three Pieces come from wildly different time periods, with Etude, composed in 1963, joining the pre-existing two pieces written nearly thirty years previously. It just about fits together as a triptych. The documentation is, as ever with Toccata, first class. And the well-recorded performances project the music with sensitive awareness of style and colour.’ –Music Web International, March 2017

  3. :

    “Drewnowski’s playing throughout the album is never less than exemplary, as are the contributions of cellist Arkadiusz Dobrowolski and the New Art Chamber Soloists. For the first commercial recording devoted entirely to his music, this fascinating, unjustly forgotten composer couldn’t be in better hands.” —Fanfare Magazine, July/August 2017

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