MALCUZYNSKI - A Great Polish Master
firstname.lastname@example.org Alan Albes | London | 03/27/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Malcuzynski, who won 3rd prize at the Chopin competition in 1937 studied with the legendary Polish pianist and one time President of Poland, Ignace Paderewski. He cut a charismatic figure on stage and although now almost forgotten except by piano-files, Malcuzynski had a large following, especially in the post war years, being much admired in New York, Argentina and of course in his homeland. His London recitals also attracted very large audiences. I heard him play Liszt's second concerto in a `live' relay from the Royal Albert Hall Proms London in 1959 when he deputized at short notice for György Cziffra who had injured his hand. I also heard him in Manchester in 1960 when he gave a powerfully magisterial performance of the Brahm's D minor concerto with the Hallè Orchestra conducted by Sir Eugene Goosens. His massive double octaves at the beginning of the first movement development section filled the Free Trade Hall with spine-tingling sound. Malcuzynski was particularly famous for playing the works of his countryman Chopin and on this CD he gives a very fine account of the composer's second concerto in F minor [recorded in 1946/Philharmonia /Kletzki]. He is equally at home with Chopin's heroics and bravura as he is with Chopin's melancholy or `zal' [bitter-sweet'] as the Polish would say. In the `Larghetto' slow movement Malcuzynski plays the lovely Italianate cantilena with full - rounded singing tone while the final Allegro Vivace is played with dash and èlan. He plays the famous Polonaise in A flat Op. 53 with proudly soaring grandeur - the beautiful Etude in C sharp minor Op.25 No.7 [ duet for two hands] with tender sadness and the famous Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2 is given a refreshing interpretation being free from extreme changes of tempo or exaggerated rubato. Malcuzynski had the gift of being able to sound individual and yet at the same time not sounding eccentric or mannered. He also played Liszt with great style and here we hear him in the Concerto No.2 in A major recorded in 1947 with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Walter Susskind. Again we see that he had the grand manner at his command although he can't quite match the improvisatory flair and fiery diablerie that Cziffra brought to the work. The final work is the Theme and variations in B flat minor by Malcuzynski's compatriot Szymanowski. Here the great pianist pulls out all the stops and plays this difficult piece with tremendous panache and virtuosity - again ideally alternating the lyrical with fine bravado swagger. This CD is an excellent introduction to - ` The Art of Malcuzynski'."
Very special Chopin
music fan | Amman, Jordan | 07/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As kids, my brother and I would chase through the corridors of our parents' house thoroughly disrupting the afternoon peace. Even amidst the commotion, as we'd race by our sister's room, we'd catch earfuls of beautiful music playing on her record player, music we later learned were the Polonaises played by Witold Malcuzynski.
We've since heard countless versions of the Polonaises. Some have been exceptionally good, like the Duchable, but to our minds none have ever equalled the poise, drama and Polish complexion of the Malcuzynski recording.
Years later, I found a CD transfer of the LP on Polskie Nagrania and grabbed it immediately; there was just the one or I would have bought two or three! I hope Nagrania or Angel will issue the disc again so that younger listeners can discover the great artist for themselves.
One of the most prominent Chopin interpreters !
Hiram Gomez Pardo | Valencia, Venezuela | 04/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Witold Malcuzynski decided to live in Venezuela in the last stage of his life. And I watched him at least a dozen times. He was an integral artist, devoted and consecrated around every little musical phrase. I still remember his notable contribution in 1970 with motive of the second centenary of Beethoven all around the world.
His Chopin possessed that telluric expression, accompanied for those thunderous fortissimos in the Polonaises. His art still will remain among all of us, as well as the generations to come. At least this is my sincere hope.