»Szymanowsky's music was love at first sight«

Which meaning has Szymanowsky's music for you?

It was an instant love when I discovered his music - late in my life. A dear friend of mine told me once: « listen to that recording » giving me an orchestral score and 4 CDs box. the CBSO and Sir Simon Rattle performing many masterpieces by Szymanowski: the opera King Roger, a couple of fabulous song cycles, the violin concertos, the 3rd and... 4th symphony, for which I had a score. It was a shock, as it expressed so well a part of myself... a music of voluptuousness, sensuality, eroticism, exoticism, perfumes... absolute bliss. I started playing his music through his music for violin and piano (recorded with Alina Ibragimova), then some solo works and at last this dream piece, the Symphonie Concertante! It was a dream come true. And it’s a dream to come back to it!

How would you describe the role of the Piano in Symphony No. 4 by Szymanowsky?

The piano is inside and outside the orchestra, at the same time! It’s definitely a leader, but a leader who is happy to give space to other characters, ready to support some characters and give them a texture, a colour, a light. There is sometimes an element of fight, with the orchestra almost overwhelming the piano, but it belongs to the construction of the piece. It’s a very complete piece for the pianist, not only being a soloist, but as well a real part of the whole! 

What did you learn about yourself through music? 

There is always something ahead. Curiosity is the most important quality to be kept over the years... over now 20 years, I became aware that time is necessary. It cannot be replaced, even by hundreds of hours of practise. There are things I studied and worked on when I was a teenager and  I understood them just now. And probably, I’ll discover in twenty years that I’m still »wrong«!!!

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January, 12/13/14, 2020

Karol Szymanowski: Suite from the opera »Król Roger« (1926)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Violin concerto no. 4 D major (1775)
Karol Szymanowski: Symphony no. 4 for piano and orchestra (1932)

Noa Wildschut Violin
Cédric Tiberghien Piano
Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
Harry Ogg Conductor

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