Simply... Philharmonic!1: Karol Szymanowski Quartet Filharmonia Narodowa

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In the world of chamber music, the string quartet is seen as the ideal ensemble. It can play in its basic line-up, divided into smaller groups, and other musicians can be invited to expand the ensemble, thus affecting the sound. If we bring together violin and viola, we obtain a ‘duet’ with quite a rich texture (see Mozart). Adding a cello to them (as with Dohnányi) results in a texture deceptively similar to the ‘canonic’ line-up of four string instruments. Supplementing these instruments with a piano shifts everything into a whole new dimension, where the wealth of sounds depends entirely on the composer’s inventiveness.

Simply... Philharmonic! Project 1
Fryderyk Chopin and his art – what place do they really hold in music history? The answer could not be simpler: at the pinnacle of European romanticism, among other composers who devoted particular attention to the piano. But we might look for similarities beyond the chronological framework, reaching further and deeper, not restricted to the chapter in music history labelled ‘romanticism’. Then perhaps, seeking associations with distant times – be it only with a world in which modern-day pianos did not yet exist – Chopin’s music might gain new, interesting and not so obvious contexts? It is worth trying, boldly exploring the realm of chamber music as well.


Marcin Majchrowski