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Andrzej Czajkowski's Music For Piano Ranks U.K. Album of the Week

Andrzej Czajkowski, płyta wydana przez Toccata Classics

Cover of the album of works by Czajkowski , photo promotional materials

At the end of 2013 the British music publisher Tocatta Classics released an album dedicated to Andrzej Czajkowski's music. The album was released with the support of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and the Program of Polska Music .

Andrzej Czajkowski's songs are performed by pianists Maciej Grzybowski, Jakob Fichert and Nico de Villiers, accompanied by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paul Daniel. The album has recently received a flattering first review, written by Norman Lebrecht - a longtime commentator on British musical life and constant collaborator with BBC Radio 3 who has published more than 10 books:

 - We now have piano concertos by three composers called Tchaikovsky. The first is written in B flat minor, a dark key that others mostly shunned. The second is by Boris Tchaikovsky, a student and kindred spirit of Dmitri Shostakovich. The third is like nothing you’ve ever heard before

- commented Lebrecht, making a pun on the pianist's last name, and ranking him the last but not least of the "three Tchaikovsky's".

The composer was born in 1935 as Robert Andrzej Krauthammer , to an assimilated Jewish family. During World War II , his family was relocated to the Warsaw Ghetto. After receiving new residential documents, his name was changed to  Andrzej Czajkowski. In the late 50s, when he began his international career as a pianist, he was forced to use the French version of his name - André Tchaikowsky. Last year, at the Bregenz festival, the premiere of the opera The Merchant of Venice took place, which  was written by Czajkowski between 1968 until his death in 1982.

 - His piano concerto, written for Radu Lupu in the late 1960s, reflects the swirling currents of Sixties London. Atonal and dramatic, it is austere only in its frugality – not a note out of place. A sultry mischief, alternately angry and amused, pervades the work. The music engages the listener with a powerful personality and an infectious musicality. We need to hear this concerto at the BBC Proms to sample its exciting potential 

- continues Lebrecht.

Toccata Classics is an independent music publishing company focusing on composers and audiences from Central and Eastern Europe - among the composers they have published are the Lithuanian artists Vytautas Bacevičius  and Vladas Jakubėnas; Latvian Jānis Mediņš; Ukrainian Viktor Kosenko  and Boris Latoszyński, and Polish Krzysztof Meyer , Mieczyslaw Weinberg  and Andrzej Czajkowski.  The founder of Toccata Classics is music journalist Martin Anderson, and the sponsor of Czajkowski's recent label is outstanding pianist and conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy, winner of the Chopin Competition Second Prize.

Source: Norman Lebrecht Album of the Week,

Edited by E.M. 09.01.2014


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