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Krystian Zimerman|Karol Szymanowski: Piano Works

Karol Szymanowski: Piano Works

Krystian Zimerman

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Recordings by Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman are a rare event, and eagerly awaited by his many fans. They surely won’t be disappointed with this new opus that brings together Szymanowski, Zimerman and legendary pianist Arthur Rubinstein.


Returning to his roots, Krystian Zimerman pays tribute to his compatriot Karol Szymanowski on the 140th anniversary of the composer’s birth. This selection of little-known works testifies to the importance of Szymanowski within the piano repertoire. A long twenty-eight years separate Zimerman's recording of Masques, Op. 34 (made in 1994 in Copenhagen) from the rest of the programme, which was recorded in 2022 in the exceptional acoustics of the Fukuyama Concert Hall near Hiroshima.


Nevertheless, the considerable lapse of time between these recordings doesn’t detract from the album's coherence. This is thanks to Zimerman's fluid, clear and readable sound, which—as we know—leaves nothing to chance. This fascinating recording reveals various facets of Szymanowski's compositional genius and features both his mature and early works, all of which were influenced by the great Chopin.


Composed during the First World War whilst staying at the family estate in Ukraine, the three parts of Masques evoke Debussy, Scriabin and Stravinsky. However, each movement is overlaid with the orientalist perspective so typical of the Polish composer. A few carefully chosen Préludes and Mazurkas stand alongside the splendid Variations on a Polish Folk Theme for piano, Op. 10, composed by a young Szymanowski still in the process of mastering his mother tongue. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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Karol Szymanowski: Piano Works

Krystian Zimerman

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9 Preludes, Op. 1 (Karol Szymanowski)

1
No. 1 in B Minor. Andante ma non troppo
00:02:56

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rainer Maillard, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

2
No. 2 in D Minor. Andante con moto
00:03:43

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rainer Maillard, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

3
No. 7 in C Minor. Moderato
00:02:57

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rainer Maillard, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

4
No. 8 in E-Flat Minor. Andante ma non troppo
00:03:31

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rainer Maillard, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Masques, Op. 34 (Karol Szymanowski)

5
I. Shéhérazade. Lento assai. Languido
00:09:55

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Helmut Burk, Producer, Recording Engineer, Recording Producer, StudioPersonnel - Oliver Rogalla, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

6
II. Tantris le Bouffon. Vivace assai
00:07:07

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Helmut Burk, Producer, Recording Engineer, Recording Producer, StudioPersonnel - Oliver Rogalla, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

7
III. Sérénade de Don Juan. Vivace
00:05:51

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Helmut Burk, Producer, Recording Engineer, Recording Producer, StudioPersonnel - Oliver Rogalla, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

20 Mazurkas, Op. 50 (Karol Szymanowski)

8
No. 13, Moderato
00:03:32

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rainer Maillard, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

9
No. 14, Animato
00:01:58

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rainer Maillard, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

10
No. 15, Allegretto dolce
00:02:57

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rainer Maillard, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

11
No. 16, Allegramente. Vigoroso
00:03:38

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rainer Maillard, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Variations on a Polish Folk Theme, Op. 10 (Karol Szymanowski)

12
Andante doloroso rubato
00:00:49

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rainer Maillard, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

13
Tema. Andantino semplice
00:02:10

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rainer Maillard, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

14
Var. 1. Meno mosso
00:01:19

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rainer Maillard, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

15
Var. 2. Agitato
00:00:42

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rainer Maillard, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

16
Var. 3. Lento mesto, ma poco agitato
00:01:10

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rainer Maillard, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

17
Var. 4. Allegro molto agitato
00:00:41

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rainer Maillard, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

18
Var. 5. Andantino
00:01:09

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rainer Maillard, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

19
Var. 6. Andante dolcissimo
00:03:10

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rainer Maillard, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

20
Var. 7. Più mosso
00:01:05

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rainer Maillard, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

21
Var. 8. Marcia funebre
00:03:33

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rainer Maillard, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

22
Var. 9. Più mosso (Allegro)
00:00:59

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rainer Maillard, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

23
Var. 10. Finale. Allegro vivo
00:05:20

Karol Szymanowski, Composer - Krystian Zimerman, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rainer Maillard, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Album review

Recordings by Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman are a rare event, and eagerly awaited by his many fans. They surely won’t be disappointed with this new opus that brings together Szymanowski, Zimerman and legendary pianist Arthur Rubinstein.


Returning to his roots, Krystian Zimerman pays tribute to his compatriot Karol Szymanowski on the 140th anniversary of the composer’s birth. This selection of little-known works testifies to the importance of Szymanowski within the piano repertoire. A long twenty-eight years separate Zimerman's recording of Masques, Op. 34 (made in 1994 in Copenhagen) from the rest of the programme, which was recorded in 2022 in the exceptional acoustics of the Fukuyama Concert Hall near Hiroshima.


Nevertheless, the considerable lapse of time between these recordings doesn’t detract from the album's coherence. This is thanks to Zimerman's fluid, clear and readable sound, which—as we know—leaves nothing to chance. This fascinating recording reveals various facets of Szymanowski's compositional genius and features both his mature and early works, all of which were influenced by the great Chopin.


Composed during the First World War whilst staying at the family estate in Ukraine, the three parts of Masques evoke Debussy, Scriabin and Stravinsky. However, each movement is overlaid with the orientalist perspective so typical of the Polish composer. A few carefully chosen Préludes and Mazurkas stand alongside the splendid Variations on a Polish Folk Theme for piano, Op. 10, composed by a young Szymanowski still in the process of mastering his mother tongue. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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