While I was more than enthusiastic about part one, part two is, believe it or not, even better. Or, to be more precise: more surprising. More exciting. This is partly due to the pieces played by Jennifer Pike, because as well as Szymanowski, she has also immersed herself in works by Poldowski and Grazyna Bacewicz.
Now Bacewicz is not really that unknown, at least I hope so. At least not among the _real_ classical music lovers, but I suspect that the average concert and recital programmers, especially in the Netherlands, have never heard of her. Will we ever hear her compositions in the concert halls? Recordings of her works are also scarce. Why would that be? Is the ‘Einaudi-sation’ of the classical music sector a fait accompli?
Poldowski is still very much unknown, although here and there people are finally waking up. Not long ago Philip Jarousski recorded a song by her, but the most beautiful plea comes from Merel Vercammen and Dina Ivanova who recorded Poldowski’s violin sonata in D two years ago, and how! (Gutman Records CD 191)
Who is Poldowski? Her real name is Irene Régine Wieniawski, yes the daughter of! Irene Régine (1879-1932) was born in Brussels but soon after the death of her father (he died when she was 10 months old) she and her British mother moved to London. She studied in Brussels, lived in Paris and was married to Sir Aubrey Dean Paul, 5th Baronet. She did not want to use her husband’s or her father’s name, she wanted to be judged purely for her music. That is why she adopted the pseudonym Poldowski.
The performance by Jennifer Pike is just as good as Vercammen’s and in fact everyone should get both CDs. Vercammen because of Mathilde Wantenaar and Pike because of Poldowski’s wonderful Tango, which was once recorded by no one less than Jascha Heifetz. And the highly virtuoso performance of Bacewicz’ Kaprys polski for solo violin. And don’t forget the wonderful piano accompaniment by Peter Limonov!
Szymanowski, Poldowski, Bacewicz
Jennifer Pike (viool), Peter Limonov (piano)