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'In the Wieniawski's circle: Edward Wolff' - CD album

EDWARD WOLFF - biography


Pianist Joanna Maklakiewicz graduated from the Gnessin College of Music in Moscow and the Frederic Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. She comes from the well-known family of musicians and artists. At the Frederic Chopin University of Music in Warsaw she holds a position of Assistant Professor at the Piano Chamber Music class. As a sought-after piano pedagogue Ms. Maklakiewicz devotes her time to teach solo piano at the Frederic Chopin State School of Music. As a performer she has offered a variety of programs featuring polish piano music of the 19th century as well as chamber music recitals with the unusually wide repertory spanning four centuries. Her concert tours took her all over Europe, the United States and Japan. Among the numerous music festivals in Poland and abroad in which she participated were Festival of Piano Duets (Lithuania), International Festival of Contemporary Music (Ukraine), Chamber Music Days and Sommersymfoni (Norway). She also offered Piano Master Classes held in Poland, Japan, Norway and Switzerland.

Joanna Maklakiewicz - CD W kręgu Henryka Wieniawskiego - Edward Wolff / projekt graficzny arturjerzyfilip Joanna Maklakiewicz / fot. Paweł Miecznik

From an artist’s perspective

Though the piano music of Edward Wolff is almost unknown even to the scholars of his epoch, his works don’t appear in the recital programs and have not been recorded, his name was not entirely unknown to me. Together with my late husband, Piotr Janowski1, we have often performed works of Henryk (Henri) Wieniawski and in his biography the name of his uncle Edward Wolff, appears quite frequently. Nonetheless it was only after I immersed myself in his music that I was able to evaluate its artistic merits.

Choosing the genres to pick for my recording I decided on those that were characteristic to both, Wieniawski and Wolff. Therefore among the selections we’ll find there the polonaises, mazurkas, chansons polonaises, in other words works that would exemplify the Polish tradition. Though the inspirations might be common, there is no similarity of language or stylistic appropriation, for both composers demonstrate their own, highly individual style.

To the selections already mentioned I have added some “pieces de salon” and two works dedicated to Frederic Chopin, to perhaps show a fuller picture of Wolff’s compositional style.

For the pianist, all of the works are quite demanding, as the composer utilizes in them a multitude of virtuosic piano finger-twisters. Not even the charming, sentimental miniatures are spared them! In some works the listener may hear Wolff fascination with Chopin’s piano writing, but in the same time a certain individuality and originality would always be retained.

It is my strong belief that Wolff’s piano music should by all means find its way to the repertory of concert pianists once again.

Joanna Maklakiewicz

Piotr Janowski (1951-2008) distinguished violinist, famous for his Wieniawski interpretations, more info:

List of works:

Grand Allegro de concert op. 39
À son ami Frédéric Chopin
Paris, Maurice Schlesinger, [1841]

Deux Polonaises caractéristiques op. 137

À son ami Constantin Parczewski
Paris, Maurice Schlesinger/Brandus, [1848]*

Chansons Polonaises op. 219 & op. 220
À son Élève Madame la Princesse Poniatowska 
Paris, Ledentu, [1858]
Nocturne en forme de Mazurka op. 45
À son ami Alexandre Batta
Paris, Maurice Schlesinger, [1841]

La Varsovienne. Mazurka nationale op. 102 nr 2

À Madame Miller
Paris, Maurice Schlesinger/Brandus, [1848]

La Mélancolie et l’Espoir. Deux Morceaux de Salon op. 95

À son ami Henri Herz
Paris, Maurice Schlesinger, [1843]

La Bacchante. Valse brillante op. 152

À son ami Joseph Vanderheyden
Paris, Maurice Schlesinger/Brandus, [1848]

Hommage à Chopin. Réverie-Nocturne op. 169
À son Élève Madame Cécile Renault
Paris, Camille Prilipp, [1852]




translated by Roman Markowicz