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THREE GENERATIONS OF MAZURKAS
ALEXANDER KOSTRITSA (piano)

The mazurka is a traditional Polish folk dance in triple time (three beats to the bar). In the very early 1800s. Maria Szymanowska was the first composer to write formal Mazurkas for the piano. They are very short, quite simple and incredibly varied and tuneful. Only a decade or so later, Chopin developed the mazurka into an art-music form and his Opus. 7 and 17 sets are perhaps the best known. While other composers alos took up the form, the most notable transformation of the mazurka was by the third Polish composer, Szymanowski, who created a full-blown Romantic style far removed from the simple original. The bright, sunny and cheerful expressiveness of the folk dance is brought out brilliantly by the young virtuoso Russian pianist Alexander Kostritsa and the album is both highly tuneful entertainment and also an insight into how a style can evolve.



CD DURATION:  60:40

AUDIO SAMPLE: Mazurka no. 2 (Szymanowska)




dealer release date; 3 November 2014
BUY IN THE UK:

£12.00


BUY IN THE USA:

$15.99


DIGITAL DOWNLOAD:


CD program:
Maria Szymanowska:
24 Mazurkas
Fryderyk Chopin:
5 Mazurkas, Op. 7
4 Mazurkas, Op. 17
Karol Szymanowski:
Mazurkas from Op. 50 -
nos. 1,2,3,6,9,10,13,14,16, & 20

review extracts: for full reviews click here

“This new CD looks at the mazurka as it developed from a dance to full-blown Romantic art-music. Musically, it makes for pleasant and relaxing music. At the end of the day, it's a nice solo piano album, expertly delivered by Kostritsa.” - Jeremy Condliffe (The Chronicle)

“The most interesting aspect of this CD is the 24 mazurkas by Maria Szymanowska. . I found them charming and delightful pieces: in spite of lacking the subtlety of Chopin's contribution they are valuable examples of the form. I enjoyed Kostritsa's playing... he responds well to the challenges of these popular numbers [by Chopin]. Kostritsa presents the [Szymanowski] music with considerable imagination. I have nothing to compare in relation to Maria Szymanowska but I enjoyed the pianist's interpretation of these delightful numbers.” - John France (MusicWeb)

“ Kostritsa plays with accentu­ated verve, though his grasp of the Szymanowski stresses their continuity as mazurkas, rather than their strangeness. Sound is close, detailed, and gutsy.” - Adrian Corleonis (Fanfare)