P0878. IGNAZ PADEREWSKI: Paderewski’s Final Recordings, incl. Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, Chopin, Schubert, Wagner-Liszt & Paderewski. (England) Appian APR 5636, recorded 1937-38, HMV. Transfers by Bryan Crimp. - 5024709156368
"A year ago we issued, to great critical acclaim. A double album of Paderewski’s first recordings, made in Europe in 1911-12 (APR6006). Between 1914 and 1931 the pianist recorded for Victor in the US but in 1937, after it appeared Paderewski had retired from the studio, he was persuaded to return to the HMV studios in London to make a final series of recordings. At first the plan was to record the repertoire which featured in the film ‘Moonlight Sonata’, a huge blockbuster success at the time which featured Paderewski playing himself, but in addition to this repertoire Paderewski went on to record works by Haydn and Mozart which were new to his discography. It has often been said that in later life Paderewski’s technique was not what it had been, and to an extent this is undoubtedly true, but this is not an issue in the classical works featured here, and the Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven in particular reveal the extreme poetry that had mesmerised audiences for fifty years and had made Paderewski the most famous pianist of his generation.
This is the first time all Paderewski’s 1930’s HMV recordings have been assembled together and two unissued tracks from the 1938 sessions are also included."
“This style of playing has largely vanished….With performances full of personality....this is beyond criticism save the occasional mannerisms that were [Paderewski’s] stock in trade....hear music making from a different time and different world.”
- Allen Becker, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Nov./Dec., 2008
“Ignacy Jan Paderewski was a Polish pianist, composer, diplomat and politician, and the third Prime Minister of Poland. He is sometimes referred to by the German version of his name Ignaz Paderewski. He was also a substantial composer, including many pieces for piano. In 1901 his sole opera MANRU received the world premiere at Dresden, then it had American premiere in 1902 at the Metropolitan Opera and to this day remains the only Polish opera by a Polish composer ever performed there.
During World War I, Paderewski became an active member of the Polish National Committee in Paris, which was soon accepted by the Entente as the representative of Poland. He became a spokesman of that organisation and soon also formed other social and political organisations, among them the Polish Relief Fund in London.
In 1922 he retired from politics and returned to his musical life. His first concert after a long break, held at Carnegie Hall, was a significant success. He also filled Madison Square Garden (20,000 seats) and toured the United States in a private railway car. His position as Prime Minister of Poland lionized his career.
By 1936, 2 years after the death of Mme. Paderewska, Paderewski consented to appear in a film presenting his talent and art on the screen. This proposal had come at a time when Paderewski did not wish to appear in public as described by Aniela Strakacz. However, the film project did proceed and the selected film script was rather an opportunity to feature Paderewski. The alternate choice had been more Polish in theme. Therefore MOONLIGHT SONATA would be filmed throughout 1936.
In November 1937 Paderewski agreed to take on one last pupil for piano. This musician was Witold Malcuzinski, who had won second place at the Chopin Competition. First place had been awarded to the Russian, Uninski.
Paderewski once recalled, ‘I established a certain standard of behavior, that, during my playing, there must be no talking. When they began to talk, I would stop. I would say, 'I am sorry to interrupt your conversation. I deeply regret that I am obliged to disturb you, so I am going to stop for a while to allow you to continue talking’. You can imagine the effect it had....”
- Z. D. Akron