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Suite for two pianos

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  • Cat. no. 13123


‘It’ll probably smack of the mountains, but I wouldn’t want to write some suite of highland dances or anything like that; what I want is to produce five pictures that would be like reminiscences of my experiences linked to the mountains. A difficult task, but I think it’s worth doing, despite the devilish torment that’ll come with it’ – that is what Józef Świder wrote in his unpublished ‘Notes’ when starting work on his Suite for two pianos on 25 July 1952. This work was written during his studies at the State College of Music in Katowice, where Świder was taking three courses: theory, piano and composition. (…) The opening two movements of the Suite were first performed by Józef Świder and Wojciech Kilar at the Katowice college in 1953.

As a composition student of Bolesław Woytowicz, Świder was almost a direct heir to the musical aesthetic of Nadia Boulanger and the French school of composition. So the neoclassical character of this work, adhering to the traditional form of the suite and combining a transparent texture with light expression, comes as no surprise. Typically for the genre, the movements are arranged according to the principle of contrast in character and tempo. The work begins with a rough and somewhat ‘brigandish’ Allegro, followed by a Moderato that is a refined, but at the same time playful, stylisation of a gavotte in 5/4. The middle movement is a light Presto, albeit not devoid of variety. Also referring to the historical genre is the Recitativo, with its quasi-improvisational narrative, while the Vivo finale is of a motoric toccata character. The excellent design of the Suite, its virtuosic style and the balanced level of difficulty to both the piano parts make this one of the most interesting compositions in the Polish duet repertoire of the twentieth century. There is no doubt that it merits the interest of listeners, performers and teachers alike.

The first two movements of the Suite, under the composite title Allegro i moderato per due pianoforti, were published by PWM in 1970, in an edition prepared by Zbigniew Śliwiński. That edition contains many discrepancies with the manuscript. Hence when preparing the first edition of the complete cycle, we decided to adopt the manuscript as the sole source, bearing in mind the cohesion of the composer’s musical and formal concept.

Katarzyna Ewa Sokołowska
translated by John Comber

  • Series: Strumento
  • ISMN 979-0-2740-3823-6
  • Language of edition: pl, eng
  • Number of pages: 72+64
  • Cover: softcover
  • No. of edition: 1
  • Published: 2023
  • Type: score and parts
  • Size: N4 vertical (235x305 mm)

30,00 EUR
Suggested retail price.

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