Genre : Classical

Catalogue: Phasma-Music 001

UPC: 634654588364

recording: Zbigniew Kusiak

editing and mastering: Zbigniew Kusiak

recording place: Polish Radio Studio S2 in Warsaw

recorded in May 2017

graphic design: Michail Travlos

texts: Anna Sikorzak-Olek

production management: Iwona Glinka

photos: Anna Sikorzak-Olek by Antonina Zbyszewska-Mildner,

Konstanty Andrzej Kulka by Grzegorz Rogiński/Reporter/East News

front cover: The Princess Czartoryska by Giuseppe Filippo Liberati Marchi (1735-1808)

Mezzotinto, 1777. Original: Jean-Baptiste Le Prince, 1769.

premiere: June 15, 2018.

In 2018 PRINCESS CZARTORYSKA'S HARP TREASURES won the GLOBAL MUSIC AWARD - OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT - SILVER Medal Triple Winner in the three categories: instrumental/instrumentalist (Anna Sikorzak-Olek: harp), album and new release, FEBRUARY-2018.

The PRINCESS CZARTORYSKA'S HARP TREASURES album contains works found by an excellent harpist Anna Sikorzak-Olek at the Princes Czartoryski Library in Krakow. This is the first record released by the Phasma-Music foundation.

The Past of the Future was the guiding motto for Princess Izabela Czartoryska when she created a museum of national memorabilia at the end of the 18th century when Poland lost its independence. Among the thousands of exhibits is a collection of carefully copied, framed and preserved harp music. It shows that, following the example of the Parisian salons, the harp was also a highly popular instrument in Poland. Two Poles contributed to the development of the harp: Prince Michał Kazimierz Ogiński (1728-1800) - hetman, poet, composer and harpist, and his friend Karol Groll (1770-1852) - engraver, constructor, entrepreneur and distinguished scholar of Warsaw. They constructed the world's first harp with a double-action pedal system. Karol Groll patented this invention in London in 1807 and immediately following this he sold it to the French piano and harp builder, Sebastian Erard, who is still considered to be the father of the modern harp.

The Czartoryski Library includes works for the pre-Erard harp and for the harp invented in the 19th century. This treasure, a collection of almost 200 titles hidden for over 100 years in Cracow, is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for concerts.

I have chosen several works arranged in order from the simplest, anonymous composers to works by virtuoso harpists, such as J.B.Cardon, F.Pollini and John Thomas.

The mazurka, entitled "L'Esperance" for solo harp, which John Thomas dedicated to Princess Anna Czartoryska in Paris, is a beautiful work related to Poland. It has shades of Chopin in it and the title "Hope" is an expression of the composer's sympathy for Polish efforts to regain independence.

This disc is my tribute to the generations of Polish patriots who did not lose hope and my gratitude to them for their efforts in retaining the treasures of Polish culture from the past for the future.

I wish to extend my sincere thanks to Mr Andrzej Konstanty Kulka, who kindly agreed to accompany me in this work.

Anna Sikorzak-Olek – Preface to recording

Product details

01. Henryk Gerhard Lentz (Lenc) de Szydłowiec: Waltz for harp solo [02:13]

Jean-Baptiste Cardon: Sonata Op.7 No.1 E flat major for harp with violin accompaniment

02. Allegro [05:36]

03. Andante [04:37]

04. Rondo Allegretto [03:08]

05. Author unknown: Polonaise C major No.2 for harp solo [03:16]

06. Author unknown: Polonaise F major No.1 for harp solo [02:40]

07. Author unknown: Variations F major No.1 for harp solo [06:30]

08. Martin Pierre Dalvimare: Fandango des Noces de Gamache for harp solo [21:42]

09. John Thomas: Mazurka L’Espérance for harp solo [05:54]

Francesco Pollini: Sonata Facile Op.33 E flat major for violin and harp

10. Allegro [05:42]

11. Romance [03:21]

12. Rondo Allegro [03:44]

Total Time: [68:23]

Henryk Gerhard Lentz (Lenc) de Szydłowiec (born circa 1764 in Cologne, died 21st August, 1839, in Warsaw). For the last 40 years of his life he lived in the Old Town in the parish of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin. A music master. In the years 1826-31 he was professor of harmony and piano at the Warsaw Conservatoire. He wrote four symphonies, a piano concerto op. 3, four piano sonatas, a number of chamber music works, songs and an essay entitled “An easy way to tune the piano without the help of a teacher”.

The Waltz in C major was recorded in the catalogues of the Czartoryski Library as MNK-XVI-311 EW No. 11783 in the book of dances. This beautiful miniature was probably very popular in Warsaw because the Czartoryski Library contains another variant on the same melody.

Jean-Babtiste Cardon (born circa 1760 in Mons, died 11th March, 1803, in Saint Petersburg). A French composer and harpist. He came from a musical family and his father, Jean Guillain, played the violin in the royal ensemble in Versailles. He taught the violin to the Count of Provence - the future Louis XVIII. His brother, Luis Stanisław, was a violinist and singer. At the age of 15, Jean-Baptiste became a harpist at the court of Countess d'Artois. He dedicated his first sonata for solo harp to her. He gave concerts in London in 1785 and after the outbreak of the French Revolution, at the invitation of Count Sheremetev and then of Catherine II, he moved to Russia. He first played in Moscow and then in Saint Petersburg, at the Imperial Theatre. He taught harp to the wife of Tsar Alexander I and Elena Pavlov Romanov, the daughter of Tsar Paul I. He made a fortune in Russia and founded a publication about harps and, thanks to his “L'art de jouer de la harpe” op.12 (Paris 1784) contributed to the popularisation of this instrument in Russia. In 1802, he visited France with his family and returned to Saint Petersburg, where he died in 1803. He is the author of many concert symphonies, and chamber music works for the harp. His most important compositions include 40 sonatas for harp and violin. Cardon significantly developed the technique for playing the harp and his virtuoso performances influenced the popularisation of this instrument in Europe.

His Sonata No. 1 op. 7 in E-flat major was published in Paris in 1786 by the Cousineau publishing house, entitled “Sonate Pour La Harpe Avec Accompagnement de Violon ad Libitum Dediées A la Reine”.

The Two Polonaises, composer unknown, in F major and C major originate from the oldest part of the harp music section and are handwritten manuscripts entitled “Music for flute and harp” stored in the Czartoryski Library. This collection contains several polonaises, marches and a Cossack dance. Their texture and construction are very simple and utilitarian in purpose. Due to the special place of the polonaise in the history of Polish culture, two of the four Pollons from this collection are included on this disc. The name Pollon is an abbreviation of the name of the polonaise dance, incorrectly copied by the French copywriter.

The Theme with Variations in the key of F major, composer unknown, comes from the same part of the collection of handwritten music for the harp as the Polonaises and is also the oldest part of the collection.

The work consists of a theme and four variations. The construction of both the whole piece, as well as its individual movements, is simple. Each variation preserves the proportions and symmetry of the theme. The variations consist of only rhythmic changes and the arrangement of subsequent movements according to the degree of difficulty, from the easiest to the most difficult. The simple harmony and absence of any specific harp techniques indicate that this work is intended for a harp with a single tuning system.

Martin Pierre d'Alvimare (born in 1772 in Dreux, France, died in 1839 in Paris). A French composer and virtuoso harpist. He received excellent education and learnt to play harpsichord and harp. He also took drawing lessons. At the age of 7 he had already played before the queen of France, Marie-Antoinette. In 1788, he composed his first opera, “Églé”. He miraculously avoided death during the French Revolution but the family lost its property and he was listed as an immigrant under the name of Dalvimare. On his return to Paris in 1800, he received the honourable position of harpist at the Paris Opera and also played in the chamber orchestra of Napoleon Bonaparte. He was appointed harp master for the emperor's wife, Joséphine, and their daughter, Hortense. In 1812, after he had recovered his family fortune, he left Paris and spent the rest of his life in his native Dreux, composing and painting. He composed many works for the harp, including the “Fandango” variations for solo harp, the “Mon coeur soupier” fantasy, three sonatas op. 13, two rondos, two duets for two harps, a sonata for violin and harp op. 33, a sinfonia concertante for harp and French horn, a concerto in C minor for harp and orchestra and many solo works.

Fandango des Noces de Gamache – Air favori tire du Balet des Noces de Gamach Arrangé et varié Pour La harpe Dédié à Madame Sequin Par M.P. Dalvimare is a collection of 9 variations with a cadence of varied character, displaying the richness of the harp's potential.

John Thomas (Pencerdd Gwalia) (born 2nd March, 1826, in Bridgend, Wales, died 19th March, 1913, in London). A Welsh composer and harp virtuoso. Out of his seven siblings, four brothers played on the harp. At the age of six he was given a Welsh folk harp. His first recorded harpsichord concert in 1838 delighted Byron's daughter, Lady Lovelace, who decided to contribute most of the costs of educating the young harpist at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Thomas decided to part with the Welsh folk harp and began playing the double action harp, built by Sebastian Erard. After graduating from the Academy in 1850, John Thomas became a harpist at the Royal Italian Opera. Due to the fact that the season was very short, lasting from March to July, he spent the rest of his time on a tour of Europe and from 1851 to 1852, he visited France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Austria.In Vienna, he was hailed as the successor of the recently deceased, prominent harp virtuoso and composer, Elias Parish-Alvars (born 1808 - died 1849). In London, Thomas became a harpist of the Royal Opera and in 1861, he was given the title of Music Director for Wales. For 42 years he organised concerts at St James’s Hall, Piccadilly, London. He was the court harpist of Queen Victoria and, after her death, King Edward VII. He composed many pieces for the harp.

The Mazurka L'Esperance was composed in Paris in 1851 or 1852. The composer dedicated this piece to Princess Anna Czartoryska née Sapieha, the wife of Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski. The title of the mazurka, “Hope”, points to Thomas's sympathy for Poland, which at that time had lost its sovereignty. The Hotel Lambert in Paris was the seat of the Czartoryski family in exile and a centre for Polish culture, where concerts were often held. Fryderyk Chopin was a frequent

Francesco Pollini (born in Ljubljana, 1762 - died in Milan, 1846). An Italian harpsichordist, pianist and composer. He studied in Vienna. Mozart dedicated his “Rondo” on violin to him. On his return to Italy, he was appointed professor of composition and piano at the Milan Conservatoire. Thanks to his works, he enjoyed fame and respect. His works include many piano pieces. In 1789 he wrote the lyrical opera “La casetta nei boschi”, and his most famous is “Methods for playing the harpsichord”. He was a friend of Bellini, who dedicated his opera “La Sonnambula” to him. His wife Marianna was a singer and harpist.

The Sonata Facile op. 33 in E-major for harpsichord or harp and violin obligato is a typical classical sonata with a beautiful Romanza in the second movement and a brilliant Rondo in the third.

The Czartoryski Museum and Library in Cracow

The year 1876 marks the beginning of the Czartoryski Museum and Library in Cracow. This is shown by the historical inscription on the former entrance to the Cracow headquarters: “Museum of the Czartoryski Princes founded in Puławy in 1800 and established in Cracow in 1876”. However, this does not mean it was then that this new institution commenced its activities. Only the location was new - the extensive collections of the museum and library, accumulated over many centuries by the Czartoryskis and members of other noble families related to them, already had a long history. The institution moved between a number of locations, both in Poland and abroad, before finding its final home in Cracow thanks to the efforts of Władysław Czartoryski (1828-1894).

It's not possible to present the entire history of the museum here. However, an important stage in its history was the eighteenth century. It was then that the great fortune of Maria Zofia Czartoryska née Sieniawska (1698-1771) and August Aleksander Czartoryski (1697-1782) passed to their son, Adam Kazimierz Czartoryski (1734-1823), and his wife, Izabela Czartoryska née Fleming (1746- 1835). The work of collecting mementoes, books, manuscripts, and of course art, was continued with great enthusiasm, first in the Blue Palace in Warsaw, and then after 1783 in Puławy. The turbulent history of Poland following its partition, the devastation and confiscation of property, and the removal of collections to protect them during the dramatic events of 1831, scattered the library’s collections to the four corners of Poland and Europe. A considerable section of the library found protection and patronage in Paris under the care of another successor, Adam Jerzy Czartoryski (1770-1861), and his wife, Anna Czartoryska née Sapieha (1799-1864). Another safe shelter after the November Uprising was Sieniawa. But for Władysław Czartoryski it was Cracow, which became the great hope for the reunification of the family's heritage, giving it a national character in accordance with the original concept of Izabela Czartoryska, the founder of the museum in Puławy.

Musical artefacts held a special place from the very beginning of this princely dynasty and continue to provide a good source of material to study the history of both secular and religious music from Poland and abroad. The largest collection to have survived is of European music from the last three centuries, encompassing solo works, ensemble music and songs. The imposition of compulsory music education from an early age, the desire to take an active part in musical life regardless of talent, a love of making music in the home and théâtre de société, and the need to support music ensembles, music tutors and teachers - all these needs required the continuous supplementation of the music library. What proved impossible to buy was borrowed or frequently copied by hand. Hence, many manuscripts have also been preserved in addition to the published music, which dominates the collection. As always, the preserved hand-written manuscripts of the composers themselves are the most valuable.

Małgorzata Kumala

ANNA SIKORZAK-OLEK - a graduate of the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, and a pupil of Professor U. Mazurek. She has taken part in many international competitions and harp courses in France, Germany, Czechoslovakia and Italy.

She has played in concerts as a soloist and chamber musician for many years and was first in the world to perform and record the following concertos: a concerto by Paciorkiewicz, 3 concertos by P. Moss: “Espressoini Varianti”, “Remenances” and “Voyage” for two harps and orchestra, “Primavera” and “Athos” by M. Hertel, “Concerto for percussion and harp” by S. Moryto, “Concerto for flute and harp” by M. Ptaszyńska, “Music for flute, harp and orchestra” by J. Maksymiuk, “Concerto for harp and orchestra” by B. Schaeffer, “Morceau de Concert” by M. Popławski, and the concerto for electric harp by M. Malecki and A.Tansman, entitled “Musique”, for harp and strings. She has recorded the following archive concertos for Polish Radio: W. Lutosławski, M.Grandjany, G. F. Handel, Thomas Daniel Schlee, C. Debussy, and A. Panufnik. The recordings appeared on discs from DUX, CPO, Albany Records and others. Her discography comprises over a dozen discs and three disks: “Polish Harp Concertos”, “Osjan” and “The Works of S.Moryto”, received nominations for a Fryderyk Prize.

Anna Sikorzak-Olek has also made many recordings for Polish Television. As a chamber musician she performs in duets with flute, violin, oboe, soprano and percussion. She regularly performs with the Polish Radio Orchestra in Warsaw and has recorded film music by, among others, Z. Preisner, P. Szymański, M. Lorenc, M. Zieliński, W. Pawlik, P. Mykietyn and many others.

Anna Sikorzak-Olek is also an educator and promotes initial teaching on the Celtic harp in Poland. She founded the “Harfa Dzieciom” Association and the “Wiktorska Harps Open” children's harp ensemble. She publishes works for the harp by Polish composers in her own music publishing house, “Polska Muzyka Harfowa” (Polish Harp Music). She is a member of the Polish Harp Association and the “Fides et Ratio” Association.

KONSTANTY ANDRZEJ KULKA is considered one of the most outstanding violinists of his generation. Born in Gdańsk in 1947, he started playing violin at the age of eight with Stefan Herman and continued with the same teacher at Music High School and the State Higher School of Music in Gdańsk.

As a 17 year old student, he received a diploma with distinction at the Niccolò Paganini International Violin Competition in Genoa. However, his international recognition began at the International ARD Radio Competition in Munich, where he won first prize. His brilliant career began to take off from this moment onwards and, since 1966, Konstanty Andrzej Kulka has performed at concerts in both hemispheres (all the countries of Europe, USA, South America, Japan, and Australia).

As a soloist, he has been the guest of many renowned orchestras, such as the Berliner Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, and the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also participated in prestigious music festivals, including in Berlin, Bordeaux, Lucerne and many others.

A special place in the artistic tours of this violinist is held by his performances with the National Philharmonic Orchestra. Since 1968, Konstanty Andrzej Kulka has performed in a duo with Jerzy Marchwiński and has also played chamber music with Stefan Kamasa, Roman Jabłoński and Jerzy Marchwiński as a member of the Polish Radio and Television Quartet.

The artist has made numerous recordings for Polish Radio and Television and the “Polskie Nagranie” record label. Among the recordings that have been particularly well received are Vivaldi's Four Seasons with the Karol Teutsch Chamber Orchestra, Mendelssohn's and Glazunov's Violin Concertos with the National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jerzy Katlewicz, the Brahms Violin Concerto with the National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Witold Rowicki, as well as Sonatas for solo violin by J.S.Bach.

Konstanty Andrzej Kulka also records for foreign radio and recording companies and his recording of Szymanowski's Violin Concerto No. 2 for EMI was awarded the “Grand Prix du Disque” in 1981. Contemporary music holds an important place in this violinist's huge repertoire. He is an excellent interpreter of, among others, Penderecki's Violin Concerto, and has performed this work many times with various orchestras conducted by the composer himself.

Source: Fryderyk Chopin University of Music.

* Skarby Księżnej Czartoryskiej

Pod koniec XVIII wieku, gdy Polska utraciła niepodległość, księżna Izabela Czartoryska stworzyła muzeum narodowych pamiątek. Dzięki temu do dziś w Bibliotece Czartoryskich w Krakowie, zachowały się zapisy nutowe wielu utworów muzycznych. Pośród nich wyjątkowym blaskiem lśnią kompozycje przygotowane z myślą o harfie. Te zachwycające swą melodyką i charakterem skarby muzyczne na płycie "Princess Czartoryska's Harp Treasures"odkrywa dla nas wyśmienita harfistka Anna Sikorzak-Olek. W dwóch utworach na płycie artystce towarzyszy wybitny wirtuoz skrzypiec, obecny na scenach filharmonii na całym świecie od lat 60-tych, Konstanty Andrzej Kulka.

Anna Sikorzak-Olek prowadzi bardzo aktywną działalność koncertową, występując zarówno jako solistka jak i kameralistka łącząc dźwięki harfy z fletem, obojem, sopranem czy perkusją. Artystka współtworzy też ceniony w środowisku muzyki klasycznej Warszawski Kwartet Harfowy oraz współpracuje z Polską Orkiestrą Radiową oraz Sinfonią Varsovią. Także miłośnicy muzyki rozrywkowej i jazzu mogli niejednokrotnie usłyszeć jej grę dzięki współpracy wszechstronnej artystki z Krzysztofem Herdzinem, Krzesimirem Dębskim, Henrykiem Miśkiewiczem czy Andrzejem Jagodzińskim.

Szczególny i specyficzny repertuar z jakim harfistka zmierzyła się na tej płycie, okazał się kolejnym sposobem ukazania piękna zaklętego w charakterystycznym brzmieniu instrumentu, od lat darzonego przez Annę Sikorzak-Olek, ogromnym uczuciem. To także wspaniały sposób prezentacji zapomnianych dzieł muzyki klasycznej.

W programie bardzo starannie wydanej płyty, nagranej w warszawskim Studio S2 Polskiego Radia znajdziemy zarówno proste utwory anonimowych twórców, jak kompozycje wybitnych wirtuozów harfy. W tej drugiej grupie znajdziemy dedykowaną przez Johna Thomasa księżnej Annie Czartoryskiej "Nadzieję", czy Sonatę Op.7 No.1 francuskiego kompozytora i harfisty na dworze hrabiny d'Artois, Jeana-Baptiste Cardona. Właśnie 3-częściową SonatęCardona, oraz kończącą album klasyczną Sonatę Facile Op.33 Francesco Polliniego, Anna Sikorzak-Olek wykonuje wraz z Konstantym Andrzejem Kulką.

Najdłuższym fragmentem płyty jest blisko 22-minutowe "Fandango des Noces de Gamache", będące zbiorem wariacji, wyjątkowo wyraźnie ukazujących ogromne możliwości brzmieniowe harfy. Autorem tego utworu jest z kolei muzyk kameralnej orkiestry Napoleona Bonaparte a także malarz, Martin Pierre Dalvimare.

Wysłuchanie tego albumu to prawdziwa rozkosz dla zmysłów. Charakterystyczne brzmienie harfy w połączeniu ze specyfiką kompozycji i wyjątkową wirtuozerią jednej z największych polskich mistrzyni tego instrumentu Anny Sikorzak-Olek, nie pozwala na szybkie odłożenie płyty na półkę.

Album "Princess Czartoryska's Harp Treasures" ukazał się staraniem fundacji Phasma-Music, założonej w 2016 roku przez wybitnego greckiego kompozytora Michaila Travlosa.

teksty i skany: Robert Ratajczak

piątek, 16 lutego 2018, longplay_2010